Iowans who are hoping to block the Bakken oil pipeline from being built using the power of eminent domain are appealing the latest court action in the case.
Des Moines Attorney Bill Hanigan, who represents northwest Iowa landowners, says a Cherokee County judge ruled against his filing of a stay in the case, so he’s appealing that move.
Hanigan says, “Her decision relative to the stay which is to suspend the condemnation on two properties of two landowners there was that she would not suspend condemnation and if the landowners had any desire for relief, then they would have to appeal the agency action.”
Hanigan says eminent domain proceedings are likely to happen on the land that’s not under appeal by the end of this month. “Dakota Access is allowed to pay whatever the determined price is and at any time after that, upon two weeks notice, they can start construction on that property,” according to Hanigan.
The company plans to construct the pipeline to cross Iowa diagonally, from the northwest to the southeast, cutting through 18 counties. It will carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa, into Illinois.
Hanigan says several administrative appeals on the pipeline project are pending in court. “The next thing to happen in the Polk County process is for all of those appeals to be combined,” Hanigan says. “There’s five separate appeals that have been filed in Polk County, however, those are proceeding as five separate lawsuits. The thing to do next is for the court to combine or consolidate those.”
Energy Transfer Partners of Texas, builders of the Dakota Access pipeline, has received approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to go ahead with construction in the part of Iowa that’s not regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps has yet to rule on the project.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton