Opponents of the Bakken oil pipeline plan to launch a canoe and kayak flotilla to protest last week’s Iowa Utilities Board approval of the project and to raise citizens’ awareness of the environmental risks entailed by the project.
The Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition will hold a press conference Saturday, June 25 at 11 a.m. at the Norton’s Ford Access boat ramp on the Des Moines River, about two miles northeast of Pilot Mound in northern Boone County.
The flotilla will last from noon until 2 p.m. and will paddle about 1.5 miles south of Norton’s Ford Access, along the section of the river where Dakota Access wants to construct the underground pipeline, also known as the Dakota Access Pipeline.
After the flotilla, supporters will meet for food, music and fellowship at the Pilot Mound Community Center beginning at 3 p.m. For more information on the flotilla, visit the group’s Facebook page.
“This is a family event, and everyone is welcome to join us for all or part of the day,” said a spokesperson for the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. “We will have plenty of canoes available for our morning flotilla. Additionally, we welcome volunteers and non-paddlers to join us in the morning to cheer on the paddlers, take photos and help with banners.”
The Iowa Utilities Board’s action authorized Texas-based Dakota Access LLC to begin construction of the $3.8 billion underground pipeline on lands outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is still considering issuing permits for the water crossings.
The anti-pipeline groups is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact study on the proposed Bakken fracked-oil pipeline and to deny the pipeline permit.
“Now that the Iowa Utilities Board has rendered its indefensible decision to approve the pipeline and perpetually endanger our water, soil and climate and strip landowners of their rights, the Army Corps is our one best chances to stop the project,” said the spokesperson for the project’s opponents.
The pipeline would pass through 18 Iowa counties, including passing under both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, in its passage from oil fields in North Dakota to a transport hub in Illinois.
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