The Iowa Utilities Board voted 2-1 today to approve an order that would allow Dakota Access to begin building the Bakken oil pipeline.
Board members expressed concern last week that allowing construction would impact their March order approving the construction permit. Attorney David Lynch addressed that issue before the vote.
“Based upon the discussion last week, the draft order if it is adopted by the board would find that the intent of the March 10th final decision order is satisfied, and again, if adopted by the board would grant the motion to commence construction in areas where Dakota Access has all the necessary permits and other authorizations,” Lynch said.
Board member Nick Wagner said he is satisfied with the order. “I’ve reviewed the order and I think it accurately reflects the intent that I laid out in the last meeting and would move to approve that order,” Wagner said. Board chair Geri Huser raised concerns last week that the move would take away the board’s jurisdiction in the case and today said she wouldn’t support it.
“I would simply like to state that I will be voting no on the order and providing a dissent, and will have that to general counsel today,” Huser said. Huser did vote against the order, while Wagner and Libby Jacobs voted for the order.
The order will allow Dakota Access to start construction in areas not under control of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lynch told the board last week it is believed the Corps will have most of its permit approvals completed by June 16th.