They want the department to review all permits that allow pipeline construction. They also want the Obama Administration to pull all permits and order a full review of the project’s environmental effects. Carolyn Raffensperger heads the group “Science and Environmental Health Network.” She says the permitting process has been unfair to rural Iowans and Native Americans along the pipeline route.
“They disregarded the environmental consequences to present and future generations. They disregarded the consequences to the tribe and to rural areas,” Raffesnberger said. “They said we don’t matter in Iowa because we’re rural, they don’t matter in North Dakota because they’re just a tribe.” The pipeline route crosses 18 Iowa counties.
Ross Grooters is a member of the group Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “We call upon President Obama to ensure the Army Corps of Engineers rejects the remaining permits in North Dakota and Iowa. Furthermore, the construction should be halted not just the 20 miles either side of Lake Oahe, but along the pipeline’s entire path,” Grooter said.
The petitions say the pipeline has been approved without conducting a rigorous environmental impact statement or consulting with Native Americans who live along the route. Last week, the federal government ordered construction suspended near Lake Oahe, close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota.
The head of the pipeline’s parent company vowed Tuesday to continue construction, and said that a federal judge had ruled the project complies with federal rules and regulations. The pipeline route crosses 18 Iowa counties and will carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
Thanks to Michael Leland, Iowa Public Radio