Bold Iowa executive director Ed Fallon, whose group opposes the pipeline, says the ruling provides an opening for a new challenge as two leading opposition groups are launching a new legal attack.
Fallon says, “Those organizations filed a motion saying because of the court ruling, the logical next step for the Iowa Utilities Board is to revoke the permit, even perhaps temporarily, and put procedures in place to examine issues that were raised before the court.”
Even though the Iowa Utilities Board approved the pipeline project earlier, Fallon says the board could bring pipeline operations to a halt with this latest legal filing.
“We haven’t seen how the utilities board is going to respond to that,” Fallon says. “Right now, that is before the Iowa Utilities Board and it’s based on the North Dakota ruling. If the utilities board agrees that’s a logical step, then they could indeed order the pipe to stop shipping oil.” Fallon says some Iowa farmers are already having to deal with the aftermath of the pipeline’s construction.
“I talked to one the other day and went out and saw his land,” Fallon says. “He’s got 10 acres where they put the pipeline through and they ruined his tile. That’s the drainage system we use here in Iowa to make that land farmable. The tile’s not working. He’s got to wait for them to go in and repair that pile and in the meantime, he can’t plant.”
Fallon says some Iowa landowners are continuing their lawsuit against Dakota Access over eminent domain issues. Their attorney is arguing eminent domain shouldn’t be given to a private company if it’s not providing a public service. That case is expected to be heard in the Iowa Supreme Court this fall.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)