The Iowa Utilities Board will resume its review Friday of information filed on the request for a construction permit for construction of the Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa.
Dakota Access is requesting the permit for the pipeline originating in North Dakota that would pass through 18 Iowa counties. IUB spokesman Don Tormey says tomorrow’s meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the board’s office.
“Deliberations by the board and with board staff will continue to address the issues raised by the parties and discussed by the board during the four meetings that were held last week…. plus any other issues the board considers necessary in order to reach a decision,” Tormey says.
There was speculation the board might take a vote on the issue at last Thursday’s meeting, which was the fourth straight day of discussion, but the board then announced Friday’s meeting and two other meetings in March.
Tormey says the board can take as much time as it needs. “There is not set deadline for the board to make its decision, and that’s in Iowa code,” Tormey explains. “Other states do have deadlines for their commissions to make decisions, but Iowa does not.”
Iowa’s counterparts in North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois have already approved permits for the pipeline construction. Tormey says it is taking a longer for the board to make a decision because of the interest in the pipeline and the information on the issue filed by those who favor it and those who oppose it.
“There is a lot of evidence and testimony and exhibits that’s been filed by the various parties in the case, so the board had to go through all those. And if they have any questions they are choosing to do those in deliberation meetings to get those questions answered and addressed,” Tormey says. While the board has scheduled two more meetings in March on the issue, that doesn’t mean it will take that long to make a decision.
“The board could make a decision during any of these meetings, and it will be made publicly,” Tormey says. Friday’s meeting will be in the IUB Hearing Room and Tormey says there is limited seating, so there are reserved seats for the parties in the hearing room for the afternoon of deliberations. Any remaining seats will be open to the general public
Added seating is being provided in Conference Room 1 for the public and other representatives of the parties.
The deliberations will be video streamed into the conference room and also be available on the board’s website. The meeting runs from 1 to 4 p.m. The other two meetings are scheduled for March 9th and 10th. You can go to the Iowa Utilities Board website at: iub.iowa.gov to find out more.