Environment | National

Meskwaki Tribe opposes oil pipeline through aboriginal territory






This map shows the proposed path of the Bakken pipeline through Iowa. Image from Energy Transfer Partners

The Meskwaki Tribe is calling on the Iowa Utilities Board to reject an oil pipeline that effectively cuts the state in half.

Chairwoman Judith Bender sent a letter to the board in January, outlining concerns about water, sacred sites and the environment. She said the Dakota Access pipeline would cross aboriginal and treaty-ceded lands along an 18-county route that traverses the entire state.

"As a people that have lived in North America for thousands of years, we have environmental concerns about the land and drinking water," Bender said in the letter. "As long as our environment was good we could live, regardless of who our neighbors were. Our main concern is Iowa's aquifers might be significantly damaged. And it will only take one mistake and life in Iowa will change for the next thousands of years."

The 1,100-mile pipeline would start in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and would cross South Dakota before entering Iowa and ending in Illinois. The company behind the project, Energy Transfer Partners, said it will comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and other historic and environmental preservation laws.

The company has filed permit requests with the states along the route as well as with various federal agencies.

Get the Story:
Meskwaki tribe opposes Bakken pipeline (The Des Moines Register 3/17)
Potential Hangup in Bakken Pipeline (WOI 3/17)