Illinois Court Overturns Dakota Access Pipeline Capacity Expansion Approval

Jan 12 (Reuters) – An Illinois appeals court on Wednesday overturned the Illinois Commerce Commission’s (ICC) approval to expand capacity on the Dakota Access pipeline to 1.1 million barrels per day.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) can transport about 570,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from North Dakota to the Midwest, although the company announced in August that it had completed a capacity expansion to 750,000 barrels per day.

The pipeline out of the Bakken Shale Basin in North Dakota had been a source of controversy before its completion in 2017. Opponents said its construction destroyed sacred artifacts and posed a pollution threat to Lake Oahe, a supply essential drinking water, and the great Missouri River.

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Last year, the pipeline resisted a legal challenge by Standing Rock Sioux and other opponents to shut down the pipeline. Read more .

The decision allowed the pipeline to continue operating at least until a federal environmental review is completed, a process that is expected to last until March 2022. read more

Pipeline owners Energy Transfer (ET.N) and Dakota Access LLC had asked the commission for permission to add more pump stations to Illinois’ 570,000 barrel-per-day pipeline.

In 2020, the commission approved the addition of pump stations that would increase pipeline capacity over objections from environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council.

The groups appealed to the Court of Appeal, which sent the case back to the commission for further consideration on Wednesday.

The commission had to consider the public need for the proposed improvement, but the court said the commission misinterpreted the public to mean the world, not the United States.

The court also found that the commission abused its discretion by deeming opponents’ evidence that the pipeline operator, Sunoco (SUN.N), had been fined for safety and security violations irrelevant. of the environment.

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Reporting by Laura Sanicola in Washington Editing by Leslie Adler, Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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