Pipeline opponents praise IUB decision on insurance

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 11:00 a.m. CT

Contact: Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or [email protected]
Contact: Christine Nobiss at (319) 331-8034 or [email protected]

Pipeline opponents praise IUB decision on insurance
Ruling clarifies DAPL must have $25 million for possible oil spill in Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa —  In a decision favoring petitions filed by the Northwest Iowa Landowners Association (NILA) and the Iowa Sierra Club, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) ruled yesterday that, “Dakota Access, LLC, shall file information describing how it will comply with the Utilities Board’s requirement that it maintain $25,000,000 in general liability insurance coverage for the benefit of affected parties in Iowa.”

“This is a significant ruling,” said Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon. “Dakota Access tried to weasel out of the liability commitment it made when it received a permit two years ago, and the IUB said, ‘NO’!”

Dakota Access argues that its commitment of $25 million is for an oil spill in any of the four states DAPL passes through (Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota).  The IUB’s ruling makes it clear that the $25 million commitment must be specifically for Iowa.

“Twenty-five million dollars is nothing,” said Christine Nobiss, director of Indigenous Iowa. “Clean up of the 2010 oil spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan cost over a billion dollars. People who live there are still getting sick and dying. No amount of insurance can cover the full damage of a major oil spill. We need to assure the IUB continues to stand up to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP).”

The IUB has given Dakota Access 21 days to comply with its insurance requirement. Some landowners along the route find it disturbing that Dakota Access has been running oil through Iowa since June, 2017 without having the full commitment of insurance in place.

“If you look at what happened in Kalamazoo Michigan, where an oil spill reached a major water body, if we had something like that happen in Iowa, $25 million isn’t going to come close to covering it,” said John Murray, spokesman for NILA and a Storm Lake attorney. “The $25 million requirement was an outgrowth of criticism that NILA and the Iowa Sierra Club raised regarding the risk of an oil spill. If Dakota Access fails to provide this coverage for Iowa the next logical step is for the IUB to revoke the permit.”

“We’ve been playing Russian Roulette,” said Fallon. “For sixteen months, DAPL has been running close to half a million barrels of oil a day across our land and waterways without having even the minimum amount of insurance the IUB required. Dakota Access and its parent company, ETP, argue that the risk of a spill is minimal. Well, just this week, an ETP pipeline in Texas leaked into Button Willow Creek and Canyon Rock Lake. This one was a relatively small spill. Next time, it could be worse. And next time, it could be in Iowa.”

Indigenous Iowa raises awareness about the devastating effects that oil, gas, and coal have on the environment, particularly on Indigenous lands where government-backed corporate conglomerates practice predatory economics and exploit communities. Indigenous Iowa promotes the development and implementation of renewable energy through the worldview of Indigenous ideologies.

Bold Iowa builds rural-urban coalitions to fight climate change, prevent the abuse of eminent domain, protect Iowa’s soil, air and water, and promote non-industrial renewable energy.

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