Another lawsuit filed against Bakken Pipeline over eminent domain concerns

  • Photo

Another lawsuit has been filed by Iowa landowners against Dakota Access’s Bakken Pipeline.

According to court documents filed Tuesday in Polk County District Court, Bill Hanigan, of Davis Brown Law Firm, filed a motion to temporarily prevent pipeline construction on property belonging to 14 Polk County landowners.

The lawsuit seeks a halt of construction until a judge can determine if the Iowa Utilities Board was right in allowing Dakota Access the use of eminent domain to proceed with construction of the crude oil pipeline.

With construction of the pipeline, planned for a 346-mile route through 18 Iowa counties, having already begun, Hanigan has requested expedited review.

In a Tuesday news release, Hanigan argues the Iowa Utilities Board misinterpreted Iowa law earlier this year when it approved Dakota Access’s request to use eminent domain to procure land for the pipeline.

“The landowners believe that Dakota Access is not a public utility and should not have the ability to use eminent domain to forcibly access Iowa landowners’ property to build a private pipeline,” the release states.

Court documents requesting expedited review of the matter argue the 8-foot wide trench and 75-foot easement necessary for pipeline construction will be detrimental to the petitioners’ farmland.

“If petitioners were to wait for the (Iowa Utilities Board) to predictably decide against their request for a stay, the clock would run out, and Dakota Access would have dug the trench on petitioners’ farmlands before the Court heard petitioners’ request for relief,” the document states.

Hanigan earlier this year filed a similar lawsuit against the use of eminent domain used to pave the way for pipeline construction. The lawsuits were dismissed in June in Cherokee County District Court.

Dakota Access last month received approval from the Army Corps of Engineers for the final permits necessary to begin the project. Construction began earlier this year on other portions of the crude oil pipeline.

The $3.8 billion, 1,168 mile underground pipeline will begin in the Bakken region of North Dakota, cross a section of South Dakota, traverse 18 counties in Iowa and end in Illinois.

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.