Iowa Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Dakota Access Pipeline

Materials ready for construction of the Bakken oil pipeline. (WHO-HD)

IOWA  —  The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline can stay beneath Iowa’s soil.

In a split decision released on Friday the court ruled that the Iowa Utilities Board was within its legal rights to allow pipeline construction and to use eminent domain to build the pipeline.

The Sierra Club and dozens of Iowa landowners sued the Iowa Utilities Board and Dakota Access, LLC in 2016, claiming the proposed pipeline that crosses the state of Iowa was not a “public convenience and necessity” but instead should have been a private business venture.  They further contested that the IUB did not have the right to use eminent domain to force landowners to allow construction of the pipeline.

The Supreme Court rejected both of those claims on Friday.  In his ruling, Justice Edward Mansfield writes “we conclude that the IUB’s weighing of benefits and costs supports its determination that the pipeline serves the public convenience and necessity.”

Construction of the pipeline was completed in 2017.

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