Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Dakota Access pipeline continues to get attention in the media, as events continue to unfold about its possible construction. A state permit has been requested from  Iowa to begin construction on the pipeline.  According to this article, there was an application made for an expedited decision on the permit, but that that request was not successful. Instead, the decision about the permit will proceed in the usual fashion, which allows "public comments through March 25." Among other requirements to obtain the permit, the article says that "The terms and conditions issued by the board include Dakota Access must:

  • Obtain and maintain a general liability insurance policy of at least $25 million
  • Demonstrate and file the unconditional and irrevocable guarantees from its parent companies for remediation of damages from a leak or spill
  • Make modifications to easement forms on properties utilizing eminent domain
  • Continue to offer to purchase voluntary easements
  • File a revised Agricultural Impact Mitigation Plan to include landowner notifications and the separation of all topsoil from affected areas
  • File a winter construction plans
  • File quarterly status reports"
Indian Country Today Media Network has a detailed article on the pipeline plans, which discusses the concerns raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. These concerns include the damage that would result from a pipeline leak: "If a leak were to occur, it would undoubtedly devastate the environment, people, resources and land of the Standing Rock nation. The quality of the water of the Missouri River is critical to the health and well-being of the tribe, both economically and culturally."

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Dr Covarrubia: Publication of the Week

A big shout out to TK Totem blogger Dr Patricia Covarrubia.

Dr Covarrubia's recent article has featured on the University of Buckingham's website as "Publication of the Week"! 

Her article discusses the importance of different protections available to non-agricultural products in Latin America-- an issue that is of great significance for the safeguarding of indigenous culture.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

More Pipelines in the News: Dakota Access Pipeline

The issue of pipelines has not gone away, entirely, it would seem. And this is to do with a pipeline other than the controversial Keystone XL project. Now in the news is the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, which would run "through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois." 

This proposed pipeline is being opposed by members of the Standing Rock Reservation. 
Tribal members cite concerns about the environmental hazards posed by the proposed pipeline  by putting water supplies at risk, as well as alleging that the  "company bypassed federal laws requiring direct discussion with the tribes." 

Approval for construction of the pipeline was secured in Iowa on March 11, 2016.  This is despite objections raised by Iowa land owners who would be affected by the pipeline construction. 

While the threat from the Keystone XL pipeline may have abated, the appetite for pipeline building does not seem to have been curbed, even with the current very depressed prices for oil and gas.