Time to set up some protest camps in East River! The Public Utilities Commission has received the formal application from Houston-based Dakota Access to build a Bakken oil pipeline across eastern South Dakota. To kick off the permitting process, the PUC will hit the road, hosting four public meetings January 21 and 22 to give Dakota Access officials a chance to explain their project and take questions from those of us who will host their environmental hazard:
- Bowdle, school gym, Wednesday, January 21, noon to 3 p.m.
- Redfield, school auditorium, January 21, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Iroquois, school gym, Thursday, January 22, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Sioux Falls, Ramkota Roosevelt Room, January 22, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Bob Mercer reports that South Dakotans unpersuaded by the company's pitch will have until February 513 to file with the PUC as official intervenors in the hearing. The PUC will set a date for the evidentiary hearing and rule on the pipeline application by December 14, 2015.*
Correction 14:41 CST: The original post got the intervenor filing and final decision dates wrong. I have corrected those dates and apologize for messing them up in the first place!
In Iowa people along the route are up in arms, in South Dakota I have seen very little opposition voiced so far. What gives? Are South Dakotans accepting of this pipeline or has the news media done a poor job of informing people? The route goes close to Redfield, east of Mitchell, and south of Sioux Falls. This should be big news as it is going through some of South Dakotas more populated areas. It's not as if it is going through the Belvidere/Draper/Vivian area.
"until February 513"
I attended the January 22 PUC hearing for the Dakota Access pipeline. The meeting was not publicized well, and it looks like they expected about 150 folks to show up. The crowd was more like 400. Landowners were quite concerned about misinformation, leak possibilities, lack of bonding and the use of eminent domain. The fact that the company is not bonded, thanks to SD's weak environmental laws, got some folks riled and even talking about an initiative to require bonding. Our congressional delegation is not in favor of any bonding or eminent domain restrictions on Keystone XL or Dakota Access. I will bet many of the concerned folks at the meeting voted for the oil buddies Noem and Rounds. Many were surprised to hear that the line's pressure would be over 1000 psi. Sioux Falls and the hundreds of residents of Wall Lake should take note that the line runs a half mile west of Wall lake under the main water source for Wall Lake which includes the Dewey Gevik Nature Area. If a spill would occur, it would be the end of Dewey Gevik Nature Area and Wall Lake. Wall Lake in turn eventually empties into Skunk Creek on the west end of Sioux Falls. Area citizens need to be aware of what this pipeline will encompass.
I attended the Jan. 22nd meeting in Iroquois. I questioned Dakota Access' front man, Joey Malmoud, on whether they would pay into a bond to reimburse landowners for damages suffered from a spill. Joey said that the federal spill trust fund would take care of landowner claims. Joey is totally wrong on that. Joey was wrong on a lot of the things that he said that day. Most landowners there didn't seem to care. Dakota Access is offering $47 million for 274 miles of easement in SD. This comes out to $171,000 per mile.
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