In this week’s news update, Iowa landowners take issue with the use of eminent domain for the Bakken pipeline, and 2 workers in South Texas were killed while doing repairs on a gas pipeline.

Officials report that two workers have been killed and another injured during an accident while the men did repairs on a South Texas gas pipeline.

Refugio County authorities said the accident occurred April 12 at a Southcross Energy Partners plant near Woodsboro. The men were in a hole repairing the pipeline when a piece of the line came loose, releasing about 800 pounds of pressure that threw the workers from the hole.

Iowa Landowners File Suit Against Iowa Utilities Board
Nine Iowa landowners have filed suits against Iowa utility regulators over the state’s decision to authorize the use of eminent domain to access land for the Bakken oil pipeline, which will cross through 18 counties.

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The lawsuit was filed on April 8 against the Iowa Utilities Board on behalf of the Northwest Iowa Landowners Association and individual landowners.

The suit says that Dakota Access LLC, which plans the underground pipeline, does not qualify as a utility and should not have the ability to use eminent domain to build a pipeline to transport oil through Iowa.

Michigan Senator Plans Legislation to Stop Oil Pipelines
A Republican state lawmaker from Michigan says he’ll introduce legislation to stop future oil pipelines in the Great Lakes and require the Straits of Mackinac’s Enbridge pipeline to undergo a safety review.

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Sen. Rick Jones announced his plan on April 11 and says it’s only a matter of time before Enbridge Line 5 bursts. His bill would close that pipeline — and others — if a safety review deems it unsafe.

Enbridge spokesman told the Associated Press that the company works daily to ensure the pipeline is in “top condition,” and it’s crucial for Michigan energy.

Canadian Natural Resources Appealing Fines
Oilsands company Canadian Natural Resources is appealing $8,000 in fines imposed by the Alberta Energy Regulator for building a temporary pond at its operation without approval.

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The company built the sedimentation pond at the Horizon plant north of Fort McMurray in May and June 2013 to capture soil that washes off during rainstorms and protect nearby water bodies, according to the regulator. The pond is roughly one-third the size of a football field.

In a decision Dec. 10, 2015, however, regulator enforcement and surveillance director Rob Borth determined the structure had been built without the necessary approval from Alberta Environment and Parks.

He imposed an administrative penalty of $4,500 for the offense under the Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act and a $3,500 penalty was handed out for breaching the Water Act by altering the flow of water for the purpose of drainage by constructing the lay down sedimentation pond and associated drainage ditches.

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