Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | May 24, 2017

Concerned about eminent domain, oil spills

By Susan Chapin | Mar 05, 2015

To the editor:

There has been much controversy regarding the proposed Bakken pipeline which will run 343 miles throughout Iowa, cutting under many rivers, streams and wetlands. It will also tear up hundreds of acres (or miles) of farm fields and woods, all just to help out a Texas owned corporation called Dakota Access.

The eminent domain issue is one that Iowans do care about: how would you feel about having a large and long oil pipeline cut through your property, maybe less than 50 yards from your house, or through farmland that your family has owned for over 100 years? “The pipeline will require a permanent easement 50 feet wide, with no structures allowed on the easement. An even wider, temporary easement of 100 to 150 feet will be taken during construction.”

Ed Fallon, former Iowa legislator and gubernatorial candidate has started a long walk along the pipeline route this week and will be crossing over territory in your county. He fought on behalf of landowners to formulate a bill on eminent domain, which passed in 1999 and 2006. He will be speaking this evening at the Lions Building in Birmingham from 7-9 p.m. about why this pipeline is harmful to the environment and upset many landowners. Please come out and hear him, and if you miss that chance, then come to Fairfield Friday night, and see him at Revelations Cafe at 7:30 p.m.

It is even possible for folks to walk some of this pipeline route with him to raise awareness, and if you want to participate, please contact: nobakkenhere@gmail.com. He will walk from Stockport to Birmingham today, and on Friday will walk between Libertyville and Bladensburg.

If you don’t already know, please Google “oil pipeline spills” and see what a danger these pipelines can be to rivers and aquifers when they burst, and they often do. There have been thousands of spills in the last 15 years resulting in deaths and billions in property damage, leaving 100 million gallons of hazardous oil to harm the environment.

Just check out the recent spills in the Yellowstone River: 50,000 gallons. I shudder at thinking about the danger to wildlife. There is needless harm to drinking water, such as what happened there in Glendive, Montana where the water supply had to be shut down on Jan 17. In 2010, the creek that fed the Kalamazoo River had a similar outcome; nearby residents smelled a foul smell in drinking water, and found wildlife covered with oil. As bad as that is, after four years since this Enbridge pipeline oil spill into the river-ways there, it still has not been totally cleaned up and over a billion dollars has been spent. This Bakken crude from the Dakota fracking fields is highly flammable and dangerous and not good for Iowa, people, birds, fish or animals: it is not worth the risk for 12 permanent jobs!

 

– Susan Chapin, Fairfield

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