Iowan Groups Still Vow to Stop Fully-Operational Dakota Access Pipeline

Groups in Iowa are still vowing to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline even though the $3.8 billion project is in full operation as of last Thursday.

Appeals are still pending with the Iowa Supreme Court, which is keeping opponents of Dakota Access hopeful that they can still shut the pipeline and have it removed. The appeals involve concern about the environment, property rights, and other issues.

The Sierra Club of Iowa is also appealing to the state's high court over the Iowa Utilities Board's permit approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Iowan groups against the pipeline said they will not concede defeat even if winning is a long shot.

"If any of these court rulings go our way, things could change," said former state legislator Ed Fallon who heads activist group Bold Iowa.

The controversial pipeline began commercially shipping oil last Thursday and has the capacity to ship about 520,000 barrels of oil per day. No spills have been reported in Iowa, and pipeline operator Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, continues to file weekly construction reports with the Iowa Utilities Board that indicate restoration of farmland and other cleanup work.

USA Today

Magellan Midstream: Excavator Caused 47,000-Gallon Diesel Spill in Iowa

Oklahoma-based Magellan Midstream Partners announced that the January pipeline diesel spill in Iowa was caused by an excavator who did not check for underground utilities before digging.

The diesel fuel leak on the 127-mile pipeline was discovered on January 25 in Worth County, Iowa on private land during a snowstorm. At the time of the leak, Magellan Midstream could not identify the cause and said sensors used to notify an impact on the pipeline did not go off.

When the spill was first reported, an estimated 138,000 gallons of diesel were said to have spilled, but Magellan Midstream later announced that the real number was about 47,000 gallons.

Tom Byers, a spokesman for the company, told The Associated Press that the company has not yet taken any legal steps against the excavator and did not identify the excavator.


Magellan Midstream: Investigation Underway for 138,000 Gallon Diesel Pipeline Leak

Magellan Midstream Partners is investigating a 138,600-gallon diesel fuel leak from a pipeline rupture that occurred Wednesday morning in Worth County, Iowa.

The leak was reported by Magellan Midstream at 8:00am on Wednesday morning and has since been contained. The company is using vacuum and frack trucks to handle the fuel and will then remove the contaminated soil once the free-liquid diesel has been removed.

The 12-inch pipeline leaked on private agricultural land, but no surface water was contaminated, according to Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The group has not yet uncovered any underground water contamination.

Magellan Midstream spokesman Bruce Heine said the company does not know the cause of the pipeline rupture as nothing struck the pipeline and the sensors used to notify a pipeline impact did not go off.

No injuries or evacuations have been reported, and there is no threat to health risk, according to the Worth County Sheriff's Office.

USA Today

Iowa Landowners Challenge Dakota Access Pipeline in Court

Iowa landowner Cyndy Coppola and Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon on Cyndy's land before the Dakota Access Pipeline construction was finished (Bold Iowa) 

Iowa landowner Cyndy Coppola and Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon on Cyndy's land before the Dakota Access Pipeline construction was finished (Bold Iowa) 

A group of Iowa landowners is asking the state courts to overturn the permit that was approved by the Iowa Utilities Board to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to run through their land.

If the landowners win, they want the pipeline dug up and removed.

In the arguments heard by a district court judge in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday, the landowners claimed that it was illegal for the Iowa Utilities Board to take farmland when the pipeline does not serve Iowans.

An attorney for the pipeline company said the project has already been completed, which makes the landowners' case moot. He also said that Iowa law gives the board the authority to issue pipeline permits.

A decision from the court has not been finalized, and any decision is most likely to be appealed.

Houston Chronicle

Dakota Access Construction Boosting Business in Iowa

Dakota Access pipeline construction workers are boosting business in Cherokee, Iowa as they arrive in town to work on the pipeline.

Cherokee city manager Sam Kooiker told the Sioux City Journal that the impact has been significant.

“As a community, it’s been a net positive,” he told the journal.

Construction workers are filling up hotels in the city, drawing longer lines at local grocery stores, and increasing traffic at local restaurants and bars.

Due to the increase in traffic, the City Council said it will consider leaving the Spring Lake Park campground open during the winter. All of the campground spots have been filled most of the summer with workers paying $15 per night to the city for a place to park their campers.

In Iowa, the Dakota Access pipeline is 64 percent complete, and Energy Transfer estimates the entire four-state oil pipeline will be complete by end of 2016.

Sioux City Journal
Houston Chronicle

Update: Iowa Sheriffs Identify Fires Along Dakota Access Pipeline as Arson

After ongoing investigations, Jasper County Sheriff’s office on Monday identified the weekend fires near Reasnor, Iowa as arson by unknown individuals. The fires caused about $2 million in damage to construction equipment along the Dakota Access pipeline route.

Discovered on Saturday night, fires engulfed construction equipment at a Dakota Access pipeline construction site, setting ablaze at least two bulldozers and a backhoe.

The developers of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline stated in an email that it “experienced the intentional burning of construction equipment by unknown individuals. These illegal actions have resulted in millions of dollars in damage.”

Dakota Access have offered a $100,000 reward as of Monday for information that would help lead to an arrest and conviction relating to the fires.

The Dakota Access pipeline, although nearly complete, has been the center of nationally growing protests, sparked by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that claims the pipeline would contaminate water supply and destroy sacred grounds.

Construction on one section of the pipeline near Lake Oahe in southern North Dakota remains halted as officials review permits for the company to build on the federal land.


Federal Officials Investigate Iowa Fires Along Bakken Pipeline Route

Federal officials are investigating several fires seen Saturday night along the Bakken Pipeline construction site in Jasper County, Iowa.

Suspected to be arson, fires engulfed construction equipment, including a backhoe and two bulldozers.

Although the scene is still under investigation, fire chiefs suspect that pipeline protestors started the fires.

The fire follows another that occurred in August, where protestors set construction equipment on fire in Jasper County, causing $1 million worth in damages.

According to officials, no one was injured in the fires found Saturday. The investigation is ongoing.

KCCI Des Moines

Protestors Arrested at Dakota Access Pipeline Site in Iowa

At least 15 people were arrested Saturday at a protest site formed against the Dakota Access pipeline construction in southeast Iowa.

The protestors were part of a group of more than 150 who gathered at a construction site Saturday in Sandusky, a Mississippi River town, to protest the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Protestors at the site were arrested after walking through a line of security guards and Lee County sheriff’s deputies who were standing in front of the construction site.

Iowan protestors are concerned that the pipeline’s potential to leak would contaminate rivers.

The Dakota Access pipeline would cross 18 Iowa counties and 1,300 parcels of land.

The arrests in Iowa follow several other arrests that have occurred within the last month at different pipeline construction sites due to trespassing and violating property.

Fox News

Dakota Access Denied Restraining Order Request Against Protestors

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered an issue that denies Dakota Access’ request for a restraining order against Iowa protestors who are planning to stand against the construction of the company’s interstate oil pipeline.

In her order, Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger said the pipeline company does not have proof that the Iowa protests would cause injury or damage to the workers or construction. A hearing has been set for Friday to further consider the issue.

State Director Ed Fallon of the group Bold Iowa said up to 100 protestors are planning “peaceful civil disobedience” on Wednesday to protest the pipeline construction in Iowa.

The pipeline developers filed a request for a restraining order against the Iowa landowners Monday ordering they stay 25 feet away from the construction site. Iowa landowners are protesting the line for environmental and property rights reasons.

Houston Chronicle

Dakota Access Files Restraining Order Against Iowa Protestors

Iowa portion of Dakota Access pipeline ( DAPLPipelineFacts )

Iowa portion of Dakota Access pipeline (DAPLPipelineFacts)

Dakota Access has filed for more restraining orders against protestors, but this time the request is against landowner groups and their leaders in Iowa.

The developers of the Dakota Access oil pipeline filed the action in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday against two protestor groups: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Bold Iowa. The groups have been allegedly planning acts of civil disobedience along the pipeline route.

Dakota Access is requesting that the groups stay at least 25 feet away from the construction site in order to allow “the meaningful opportunity to exercise protected First Amendment speech while ensuring the safety of all involved.”

Landowners in Iowa had filed a lawsuit earlier this month saying the Iowa Utilities Board did not have the authority to grant eminent domain for a privately owned pipeline project. Their suit was denied by a federal judge.


Iowa Construction Delay of Dakota Access Pipeline Denied

iowa construction delay of dakota access pipeline denied

The Iowa Utilities Board last Thursday declined workers’ request that the Dakota Access pipeline not be constructed on parcels of 14 landowners.

Landowners had filed a suit that challenged the board’s authority to allow eminent domain for a privately owned pipeline project, to which the board predicted the landowners would have little success in their court case.

The landowners plan to appeal the board’s decision and hope to delay construction until a court can hear them.

Construction of the Dakota Access pipeline near the North and South Dakota borders continues to be at a standstill until September 9 when a federal court judge said he would rule on a request made by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction near their reservation.


Opposition Rises Against Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, Iowa



American Indians on Wednesday blocked construction crews working on the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, and Iowa landowners have asked a judge to stop the work in their state until they are heard in court.

Law enforcement was called to the scene to maintain peace between the protestors and the armed security guards that were hired by Energy Transfer as construction crews worked on an area just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Both the Standing Rock Tribe and landowners in Iowa have gone to court regarding the pipeline. The Tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last month for approving permits for the line, and Iowa landowners say the Iowa Utilities Board misinterpreted a state law that bans agricultural land from being taken for private project via eminent domain.

No arrests have been reported during the peaceful protests, but crews had been blocked earlier in the day.

Energy Transfer said in an email that it is continuing construction in Iowa on schedule.

The controversial $3.8 billion oil pipeline planned by Energy Transfer will run 1,172 miles starting in North Dakota and ending in Illinois, passing through both South Dakota and Iowa.

The Seattle Times

Equipment for Bakken Pipeline Construction Set on Fire

equipment for bakken pipeline construction set on fire

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.