Dakota Access proposes increasing oil flow through Iowa

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DES MOINES – Dakota Access has proposed increasing the amount of oil that flows through its pipeline across Iowa by altering the pump station near Cambridge, IA in Story County. They say that they need no further approval from the Iowa Utilities Board, but Bold Iowa disagrees. They filed a response to the IUB requesting a hearing in Story County. 

Bold Iowa’s filing states, “Dakota Access’s proposal raises so many unanswered questions it is not possible for Bold Iowa, the general public, the IUB, nor concerned state and local elected officials to fully grasp the impact of the proposed expansion without adequate time and study. The involvement of landowners along the route, Story County residents, and all Iowans concerned about the broader impacts of the pipeline is essential. Thus, Bold Iowa requests that the IUB hold a public hearing in Story County where DA officials and IUB representatives are available to answer any and all questions from Iowans who have concerns about DA’s proposed expansion.”

The filing by Bold Iowa continues with a request to respond to ten questions:

1. How much oil would flow through the pipeline once DA completes the proposed changes at the Cambridge Pumping Station?

2. What would be the proposed expansion’s impact on climate change? (Note page 37 of the recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling in Puntenny v. Iowa Utilities Board, where Justice Mansfield in writing for the majority states, ‘We recognize that a serious and warranted concern about climate change underlies some of the opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.)

3. Would the additional flow of oil increase the likelihood and severity of a spill?

4. What types of disruption and impact could landowners near the Cambridge Pumping Station expect during and after DA’s proposed expansion?

5. Beyond modifications to the Cambridge Pumping Station, is DA considering adding other pumping stations in Iowa and/or other modifications at any other points along the pipeline route now or in the future?

6. DA references growing demand from shippers. How much of that demand is from overseas markets? We are concerned that, given the recent announcement about opening an office in Beijing, China, by DA’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, this proposed expansion has nothing to do with domestic oil consumption and everything to do with exportation.

7. Would DA have to add more Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) to accommodate the increased flow through the pipeline, and if so, would that constitute a change to the essential product, thus requiring DA to get approval from the IUB according to Rule 13.18?

8. DA indicates that one justification for the proposed expansion is that shippers have expressed ‘significant interest.’ How many of these shippers are simply marketing affiliates of the company and/or any of its parent companies?

9. When would DA intend to begin and complete the proposed work?

10. How would DA intend to keep the public informed of its progress?

Bold Iowa is a group dedicated to protecting Iowa’s land, water, air and preventing eminent domain abuse. To learn more about the group, checkout their website here

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