Jasper County, Iowa reported Monday that construction equipment to build the recently approved Bakken Pipeline has been intentionally set on fire by unknown suspects.
Authorities reported receiving notice of criminal mischief from companies working for the Dakota Access Pipeline project.
A bulldozer and two tracked excavators were set on fire with damage estimated to be approximately $1 million.
Both the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and the Newton Fire Department are in the process of investigating the case. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office have also been notified of the crime.
The Bakken Pipeline has sparked much controversy, especially after receiving the green light for construction from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week. Several environmentalist groups and Native American tribes have protested the pipeline due to its pathway near rivers and through sacred reservation grounds.
The $3.78 billion pipeline will run for 1,172 miles and carry crude oil through North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, and Iowa.