Texas pipeline developer can’t shield insurance policy
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Texas pipeline developer can't keep secret the provisions of an insurance policy protecting Iowans in case of an oil spill, nor can it keep private the obligations its parent company has agreed to assume if an accident occur...
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Texas pipeline developer can’t keep secret the provisions of an insurance policy protecting Iowans in case of an oil spill, nor can it keep private the obligations its parent company has agreed to assume if an accident occurs, regulators said in a ruling issued Thursday.
But the Iowa Utilities Board did grant confidentiality, which was sought by developer Dakota Access LLC, a division of Energy Transfer Partners, for details on its premiums and other “identifying information,” according to a 33-page order.
The information has yet to be made public.
“The board will continue to withhold the documents from public inspection for 14 days from the date of this order to allow Dakota Access an opportunity to seek injunctive relief,” the order states. If there’s not a request, the documents will be released at that point.
The 30-inch diameter, $3.8 billion underground pipeline would carry up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa, to a hub in Illinois.
Thursday’s order addressed several issues that have emerged since the board approved a hazardous crude oil pipeline permit for Dakota Access on March 10.
One key item absent from the order is a final determination on the construction permit. While the board granted one, it won’t be issued until several conditions are met.
Dakota Access had requested the utilities board expedite issuing the permit, estimating $1.3 million in losses every day the pipeline is delayed. The board denied this request Thursday.
On other pipeline matters:
-The board determined a request for consultation of historical impacts by the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska “is moot.”
“The lead agency for the consultation process is the Army Corps of Engineers, not the board,” the order stated.
-The board ordered Dakota Access to formally respond to allegations it has begun construction early, in violation of the permit order.
News reports and letters to the board have suggested or accused Dakota Access of being involved in tree clearing along the route in Mahaska County and construction of a substation in Story County that would support the pipeline.
These activities, if accurate, appear to fall under the definition of “construction,” board attorneys said last week. The board ordered an investigation and required a response by Monday from Dakota Access.
The company has said the activities are pre-construction and aren’t violations.
The utilities board order stated Dakota Access could be fined between $100,000 and $200,000 if the allegation is proved true.