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DES MOINES – A permit for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project to cross publicly-owned land has been approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The permit, however, is still conditional on authorization from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A permit from the DNR would allow Dakota Access to construct the pipe line across the Big Sioux River Complex Wildlife Management Area in Lyon County as well as borings for the pipeline under the Big Sioux River in Lyon County, the Des Moines River in Boone County and the Mississippi River in Lee County.
“We have thoroughly reviewed this application and do not find any long-term negative impact to the environment or natural resources,” said DNR Director Chuck Gipp.
The permit lays out conditions that address construction techniques required to be used, the timing of construction, environmental resource concerns and long-term maintenance to minimize potential environmental and natural resource impacts as specified in Iowa code (IAC 571 Ch. 13).
A mitigation plan has been negotiated to restore and enhance the type of habitat affected by the construction of the pipeline. The company will pay $400,000 to implement the mitigation plan.
“Iowa has thousands of miles of pipeline underground including many that are under public property. This request and the subsequent permit we would be issuing is not precedent setting,” said Gipp.
In fact, if constructed, the pipeline across the Sioux River Complex Wildlife Management Area would parallel an existing natural gas line.
In the last year, 700 permit applications for construction on public lands were received for review. The DNR issues approximately 200 permits of varying types annually for projects such as streambank stabilization, waterlines, natural gas pipelines, overhead powerlines and fiber optic cables.