Utilities-Board-signThe Iowa Utilities Board is asking people to sign up ahead of time to speak at a public hearing next week on the request for a permit for the Baaken oil pipeline that will run through Iowa.

IUB spokesman, Don Tormey, says the public hearing is set for 9 A.M. until 5 p.m. next Thursday November 12th at the Community Building on the Boone County Fairgrounds.

“Due to the overwhelming demand that the public has expressed in speaking that day, the board felt it was best to create a process to promote an orderly and efficient way of getting people to sign up in advance in order for them to speak that day. So, we can accommodate the most amount of people who are either for or against the project,” Tormey says.

Route of the proposed Bakken pipeline.

Route of the proposed Bakken pipeline.

The IUB will hold the advanced sign up process Thursday and Friday. He says you should call the IUB general phone number at 515-725-7300 during normal business hours from 8 A.M. to 4:30 p.m. He says you will simply need to give some general information.

“They’ll provide their name and address and they’ll state whether they want to speak in favor of or against issuance of a pipeline permit by the board. And then the board’s going to limit comments to probably two minutes apiece — otherwise you probably won’t be able to get too many people to express their views on that day,” according to Tormey.

Dakota Access filed a request with the board for the permit on January 20th for the pipeline which would ship oil from North Dakota to a refinery in Illinois. Tormey says this hearing will add to the input the board has already gotten. “The board has accepted objections and letters of support and comments, electronically and by mail and in person since that time, so this is in addition to that,” Tormey says.

The hearings on the pipeline start with the public input portion next week and will run through December 2nd. “The board will weigh all the testimony and exhibits and information presented during that hearing and look at other state law in order to make that decision,”Tormey say. “And they are not satutorily set to make that decision at any time.”

For more information on the pipeline and the process, go to the IUB’s website.