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Utilities Board Rejects Latest Attempt to Stop Bakken Pipeline Construction

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Iowa Utilities Board (WHO-HD)

Iowa Utilities Board (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — An attempt to stop construction of the Bakken oil pipeline until a lawsuit is settled appears to be heading back to district court.

A group of 14 Iowa landowners called on the Iowa Utilities Board Thursday to stop work until they had their day in court. The landowners are suing, claiming their land should not be able to be seized through eminent domain for use by a private developer.

Lawyers for the pipeline’s developer, Dakota Access, said the hearing shouldn’t have taken place to begin with. They asked the board to reject the landowners’ plea to block construction on the 17 parcels in question.

Thursday afternoon the board sided with Dakota Access.

“The board has deliberated on the four factors and we have concluded that the balancing test does not support the issuance of a stay,” said board member Geri Huser.

A temporary stay of construction put in place by the IUB will continue until Monday at 9:00 a.m.

Landowners are already planning to appeal the decision.

Around 300 union workers who attended the IUB meeting said they saw the decision as a win and planned to be back to work on pipeline Monday morning.