Monday, June 13, 2016

Work begins on controversial pipeline though it hasn't received all its permits and is in court

Dakota Access pipeline map highlights counties traversed.
Work has begun on the $3.8 billion, 1,150-mile Dakota Access pipeline that will carry as much as 570,000 barrels of Bakken crude from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. The pipeline is drawing its fair share of praise and criticism. Supporters cite new jobs and a economic boost, while landowners and environmental groups have sought to stop it.

"Dakota Access has not received permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for river crossings and other federal land in Iowa, including a parcel that is under investigation as a possible Native American burial site," David Pitt reports for The Associated Press. "Plus, the project faces at least five lawsuits in Polk County District Court in Des Moines, and individual landowners along the route have said they plan to challenge in court the company’s use of eminent domain. The first condemnation hearings begin next week. Pipeline opposition group Bold Iowa said Thursday that 60 members have signed a pledge to risk arrest, if necessary, in non-violent protests."

Pipeline spokeswoman Lisa Dillinger said about 4,000 union workers will be employed in the four states. In Emmons County, North Dakota that means between 600 to 800 jobs that will last into the fall, Lauren Donovan reports for the Bismarck Tribune. Local businesses are already enjoying extra profits. "Tiffany Heer, owner of Bayside Resort, a busy campground, store and restaurant just a few miles south of the pipeline route, said she’s got 55 pipeline workers living in campers there," while Linton grocer Todd Mulske "says he’s having trouble keeping steaks in the cooler and potato chips on the shelf."

Illinois is expecting a similar boost, with an estimated 600 to 800 jobs for each of the state's three segments, Tim Landis reports for The State-Journal Register in Springfield. "In anticipation of the influx of workers, the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce has begun assembling hundreds of packets with information including restaurants, health-care facilities, RV sites and laundromats." Buena Vista Farms, a resort and campground with 61 RV camping sites and five cabins, has been fully booked since April.

No comments: