Hundreds Pack Inside Sioux Center Meeting On Proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project

Local News

A proposed interstate pipeline that would run right through Siouxland is grabbing attention.  Hundreds of Siouxlanders came out Monday evening to a public meeting to find out what the project is and what the pipeline would mean for them.

More than 300 people packed inside Sioux Center’s public information meeting Monday evening to hear more about the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project.  If constructed, the pipeline would run hundreds of thousands of barrels of Bakken Crude Oil more than 1,100-miles from North Dakota down to Illinois, coming right through Siouxland.

It’s an 1,100-mile interstate crude oil pipeline, and they’re talking about running it right through Siouxland.  Something landowners say they’re worrying about.

“Well yeah, everybody’s concerned. It’s a big deal. Because there’s a lot of tile-lines and when you put in a pipeline, you cut the tile-lines.  So everybody’s quite concerned about that,” said Pete Golden, a corn and soybean farmer near Sioux Center, Iowa.

Golden, like many others, got a letter in the mail saying his land was being considered for the Dakota Access Pipeline Project.  As a corn and soybean farmer, he says he’s alarmed about what a pipeline could mean for his farmland.

“The disturbance of the land, that’s my concern. And what guarantees or recourse we have if there are any issues,” Golden said.

So Dakota Access’ parent company, Energy Transfers, along with the Iowa Utilities Board, is holding public information meetings to talk about what the proposed pipeline is and what it would mean for landowners if its constructed. Including how much of their land it would use up.

“During construction, we may need an addition 50 to 25 feet on each side dependent on the area, whether its agriculture or forestland,” said Lisa Dillinger, Energy Transfers Spokesperson.

Dillinger says after its built, the company plans to restore things as quickly as possible.

“So once it is restored, then it will go back to its original use,” Dillinger said.

Though farmers say its tiling, soil erosion and soil quality is what they’re worrying about.

The Dakota Access Pipeline Project isn’t final yet. The Iowa Utilities Board says after the public meetings wrap up later this week, Energy Transfers has 30 days to make the IUB a proposal on the project. Giving landowners time to weigh in on where they stand.

“The Iowa Utilities Board is now accepting objections and comments or letters of support for this proposed pipeline project. Even though a petition cannot be filed until after these informational meetings are held,” said Rob Hillesland, Iowa Utilities Board.

And public input will be key for the pipeline project’s future in Siouxland.

These public meetings are expected to wrap up Thursday. From there, the Iowa Utilities Board says Energy Transfers will have 30 days to submit a proposal to them and, of course, to the other states about their intentions toward the proposed project.  Its in the IUB’s hands from there.

Dillinger says if the pipeline does go through, construction could start as early as the end of 2015 and wrap up by the end of 2016.

Upcoming Siouxland Meetings for the Proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project:

Dec. 2

9 a.m. at the Sheldon Community Services Center, 416 Ninth St., Sheldon

3 p.m. at the Cherokee Community Center, 530 W. Bluff St., Cherokee

Dec. 3

9 a.m. at Buena Vista University Anderson Auditorium, 610 W. Fourth St., Storm Lake

Weigh in on the Dakota Access Pipeline Project or find additional information on the Iowa Utilities Board website here.

Find more information on Energy Transfers and what they’re proposing for the pipeline on their website here.

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