Iowa Landowners Petition Court To Stop Pipeline Construction
A group of landowners will ask the District Court in Polk County this afternoon to stop the Dakota Access pipeline from beginning construction on their properties. They aim to hold off the condemnation of their lands until they have their day in court to challenge the company’s use of eminent domain.
The landowners say since construction is imminent, the court must intercede to protect their constitutional right to due process. Once the pipeline trench is dug, the landowners argue, damage created by the trench will be permanent and any legal objections, regardless of merit, will be moot.
Dakota Access says the Iowa Utilities Board is within its jurisdiction to condemn land for the purpose of a public utility.
When the IUB granted Dakota Access permission, it said it considered the environmental and economic consequences of a pipeline.
Dakota Access reports that 89 percent of individual landowners along the pipeline route have entered in voluntary easement agreements. The 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline will conceivably carry crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken and Three Forks oil fields, through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois.
In North Dakota protesters lead by members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has delayed pipeline construction. They oppose Dakota Access, saying a pipeline will threaten their water and disturb sacred sites.