Government

South Dakota approves its segment of Bakken pipeline

Permits still under review in Iowa, North Dakota

Hundreds of miles of pipe sit in storage in Newton as photographed on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The Bakken group is i
Hundreds of miles of pipe sit in storage in Newton as photographed on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The Bakken group is in the process of securing land for it's pipeline project and preparing for the build despite the fact the line hasn't been approved. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 Monday to approve the Bakken crude oil pipeline, but added conditions to better protect landowners along the route.

“It is crucial that we do this right so that our farmers and ranchers can get back to doing what they do best, producing food for the world,” Chairman Chris Nelson said.

The 1,134 mile pipeline proposed by Energy Transfer Partners of Texas would carry Bakken crude from North Dakota to Patoka, Ill, crossing 18 Iowa counties. The $3.7 billion pipeline would initially carry 450,000 barrels of crude per day and could be expanded to 570,000 barrels.

In South Dakota, the pipeline travels 272 miles and extends through 13 counties. The conditions include requirements for construction and reclamation to better protect landowners.

Commissioner Gary Hanson, the lone dissenting vote, argued that the pipeline route would unduly harm development for the communities in the Sioux Falls area.

Hanson said he suspects the decision to grant the permit will be appealed to the South Dakota court system.

The pipeline route still is under review in other states, including in Iowa and North Dakota.

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