116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
To the editor:
The planned 1,100-mile Bakken Oil pipeline proposed by Dakota Access LLC would carry over 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day. It would run from northwest North Dakota's hydro fracturing sites, diagonally across the upper Midwest to Patoka, Ill.
It is planned to cut diagonally across the state of Iowa impacting 18 counties. A 50 foot easement and 150 foot construction right of way are planned as this line is buried beneath the richest farmland in the world. It would be laid 4 feet below ground, 2 feet below existing tile.
Aside from disregard for farmers and private property owners, resulting soil erosion and degradation of soil quality, there is a potential for leaks. One conservative listing of oil pipeline accidents shows an average of 10-20 leaks/year on existing lines, well over 100 in this century. Air, water and wildlife may be harmed in what will probably be inevitable environmental disasters. Temporary work notwithstanding, are the 40 potential long-term job positions that would grace Iowa's economy worth the harmful effects we can expect? I believe not.
Hearings will continue to be held by the Iowa Utilities Board. A decision may be made as soon as late December or early January. Although voicing opposition to the pipeline may seem futile, remaining silent will surely usher it in.