Today, the Iowa Utilities Board met in order to allow the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline to go forward.
The Board previously approved a state construction permit for the project back in March, but had not yet issued a decision for construction to proceed. This was a result of the continued delay of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ permits that govern some of the water crossings along the pipeline route. Those permits remain outstanding, and the areas under Corps jurisdiction will not be addressed by the IUB order to begin construction.
Board members Libby Jacobs and Nick Wagner said they believed that by allowing work to commence on the route would be in compliance with the March order which granted the state permit for the project. Authorizing construction “would seem to be the next logical step,” Jacobs said.
The order is expected later this week and will be signed by the board.
MAIN Coalition Chairman Ed Wiederstein published a compelling opinion piece in the Des Moines Register over the weekend urging President Obama to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill their duties in reviewing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Days earlier, Wiederstein, along with other coalition members sent a letter to the White House stressing the importance of this critical investment.
Wiederstein echoed the letter to President Obama in his writing over the weekend, noting that “it now appears that a seemingly straightforward engineering and environmental impact decision has been delayed by special interests in politics,” adding that, “Environmental groups opposed to all forms of energy and infrastructure projects have urged members of the federal government to call into question previous engineering and environmental decisions made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
The piece goes on to point out the diverse group of businesses and organizations that make up the MAIN Coalition and recognize the importance of expanding much needed energy infrastructure.
“With a diverse array of backgrounds and interests in our organizations, we are motivated to ensure that this project is authorized and permitted as soon as possible to allow for the opportunity for working people throughout the Midwest to construct this important infrastructure project and to limit the impact on the farmers whose land this pipeline will cross,” said Wiederstein
In conclusion, Wiederstein reiterated the need for the expedient approval of this pipeline project so that thousands may begin work and the impact to farmers is restricted to a one growing season. “Finding no reason to oppose, this project was approved and determined to be in the public interest. We urge the federal government to allow the U.S, Army Corps of Engineers, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to do the same, in order to advance this critically important project for our region,” he said.