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Bakken oil pipeline approved by Iowa

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World Pipelines,

Thousands of construction workers could start work this spring on the Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa, after the Iowa Utilities Board voted 3-0 on Thursday to approve a state permit for the underground pipeline, which will run diagonally for 346 miles across 18 Iowa counties.

The project is proposed by Dakota Access LLC, a unit of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

The pipeline will carry half a million barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. Energy Transfer was also given authority to use eminent domain for land that property owners are unwilling to voluntarily provide.

An appeal is likely from individual landowners, farmers and a coalition of environmental and property rights groups who have voiced concerns about spills that could harm farmland, rivers and streams.

"This is fantastic and certainly a big step in getting Bakken barrels to quality markets and further displacing foreign barrels," said Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, which represents hundreds of companies working in the state.

Energy Transfer Partners, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday, had set a completion date for the pipeline late this year. It already has begun stockpiling steel pipe in anticipation of getting the needed permits.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: Des Moines RegisterABC NewsWall Street Journal

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