On Monday South Dakota regulators approved a construction permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, reports The Associated Press.
The proposed 1,130-mile pipeline, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, would transport roughly 450,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota to South Dakota and through Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois. From there, shippers will be able to access both Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.
The permit was approved by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission with a 2-1 vote. Construction on the 270-mile South Dakota section of pipeline could begin by early 2016. The $3.8 billion pipeline project requires approval from each of the four states, with South Dakota becoming the first.
In a statement, spokeswoman Vicki Granado said, “This is an important infrastructure project that will provide a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner to transport this crude oil. We look forward to being a part of South Dakota’s business and civic communities.”
The construction permit was granted, but includes conditions beyond complying with state and local laws. The Energy Transfer Partners subsidiary building the pipeline, Dakota Access LLC, will submit quarterly reports, hire a liaison officer to handle landowner disputes and concerns, in addition to hiring an independent third party to ensure compliance with the permit.
Supporters of the pipeline claim it is necessary for expanded energy security, job creation and is safer than transporting crude by railway. Opponents of the project, however, assert that the pipeline could negatively impact water supplies, farmland and wildlife habitats. To read the original report from The Associated Press, click here.