State board to hear pipeline arguments Thursday

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DES MOINES — The Iowa Utilities Board will hear oral arguments Thursday on a petition to halt a proposed oil pipeline, the board announced Tuesday.

The board scheduled an oral argument proceeding regarding an emergency motion filed by landowners asking the board to stop enforcement of its approval of the pipeline, which when constructed will transport crude oil through Iowa.

The oral argument hearing will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the board’s offices in Des Moines.

Landowners opposed to the pipeline asked a judge to stop the project, but a district judge ruled Monday that the courts cannot intervene because landowners had not yet exhausted administrative remedies before bringing legal action.

The landowners immediately filed the emergency action request with the board.

The landowners claim the state board acted unconstitutionally by using eminent domain to forcibly allow developers to access land to a private company, Texas-based Dakota Access, so it can construct the pipeline.

Plans call for a $3.8 billion, 1,168-mile underground pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to a distribution hub in Illinois. The pipeline would transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily and cross from northwest to southeast Iowa, spanning 346 miles and 18 counties.

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