- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota regulators are expected to decide Monday whether to grant a construction permit for a pipeline that will cross through the state as it carries oil from North Dakota to Illinois.

The 1,130-mile Dakota Access Pipeline proposed by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners would move at least 450,000 barrels of crude daily from the Bakken oil patch in western North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, where shippers can access Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.

It needs approval in all four states. South Dakota’s Public Utilities Commission held a public hearing on the project in late September and early October.

Supporters of the project cite a need for energy security, point to the jobs it would create and maintain that transporting oil by pipeline is safer than moving it by rail or truck.

Opponents worry the pipeline could contaminate water supplies, farmland and archaeological sites, and harm habitat for wildlife, including endangered species.

Opponents have submitted written comments to the commission since the hearing, and Dakota Access has offered a set of stipulations for its permit. In addition to complying with state and local laws, officials say they would offer quarterly reports to the commission, hire a liaison officer approved by the commission to deal with landowner disputes and log landowner concerns.

The commission will decide whether to grant a construction permit, grant a permit with conditions or deny a permit, the Argus Leader newspaper reported (https://argusne.ws/1PZ8vFH ).

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