DNR Decision Shows Dakota Access ‘Unanticipated Discoveries’ Plan Works


Iowa state officials have lifted a temporary stop-work order that had been issued for the Sioux River Wildlife Management Area following a discovery of previously undocumented cultural artifacts. According to the Des Moines Register, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) granted Dakota Access an amendment to its permit after the company proposed to boring underneath the protected area. “The bottom line is that they will go around the area by going underneath it,” said DNR spokesperson Kevin Baskins.

In an email sent last week to DNR Director Chuck Gipp and obtained by the Register, State Archaeologist John Doershuk also expressed satisfaction with the revised plan to avoid the sensitive areas.

State Archaeologist John Doershuk said in an email last week to DNR Director Chuck Gipp that the proposed directional boring construction method is a satisfactory avoidance procedure from an archaeological standpoint that he supports in this case.

The discovery of the archaeological site and subsequent review that has occurred over the past few weeks illustrates that the Unanticipated Discoveries Plan prepared by Dakota Access is an effective framework both in theory and application.