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Iowa Landowners File Suit to Stop Pipeline Construction

Petitioners contend pipeline owners do not have the right to exercise eminent domain

April 12, 2016

The Dakota Access pipeline is proposed to transport light, sweet crude oil from 

North Dakota Bakken through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. - Energy Transfer

Nine Iowa landowners filed suit Friday against the Iowa Utilities Board saying the planned underground crude oil pipeline to be built by Dakota Access LLC doesn't qualify as a public utility and should not be granted the use of eminent domain rights.

The Bakken Pipeline starts in North Dakota runs through 17 counties and 346 miles of Iowa to a distribution hub in Patoka, Illinois. Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Phillips 66 and Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, said 85 percent of the necessary tracts of land have been voluntarily acquired.

The suit filed by Northwest Iowa Landowners Association and individual landowners  says the board's decision to grant eminent domain would violate the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, which requires a public use, public purpose or public improvement to justify taking private land. The lawsuit also contends the Iowa Constitution's Article I, Section 18, limits the exercise of eminent domain and protects the plaintiffs' rights to possess and protect their own property.

In addition, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska object to the Bakken Pipeline. Lance Foster, the tribe's historic preservation officer in White Cloud, Kansas, sent a letter to the Iowa Utilities Board saying the tribe is a sovereign tribal entity and it has not been consulted about the pipeline project. The tribe was moved from Iowa in the 1830s to reservations in Kansas and Nebraska.

Read more about the Bakken Pipeline progress here:

Source: Des Moines Register

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