Dakota Access’ response to claims that they started construction

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STATE OF IOWA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE IOWA UTILITIES BOARD

IN RE: )
) Docket No. HLP-2014-0001

DAKOTA ACCESS, LLC )

DAKOTA ACCESS’ REBUTTAL TO LINDA SORENSON AND THE SIERRA CLUB REGARDING PRE-CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES

In its response to the Board’s inquiries about alleged construction activities, Dakota Access cautioned that “activit[ies that] may be misunderstood or misinterpreted by casual observers with innocent (or not so innocent) interests in the dealings of the neighbors” in the case.1 The response by Linda Sorenson is a perfect example. Ms. Sorenson has misunderstood and misinterpreted top-soil survey activity to be that of tree clearing. As the Board is aware from previous filings in this Docket and Dakota Access’ prior brief, these surveys are a planned pre- construction activity. Here, it is to measure the depth of topsoil, not for some nefarious purpose but rather to allow Dakota Access to comply with the terms of the AIMP.

The all-terrain vehicle depicted in Mrs. Sorenson’s photographs is in no way related to tree-clearing. Ms. Sorenson’s accusations appear to be motivated by a simple misunderstanding of DAPL’s pre-construction survey activity – activity that is routine and customary to infrastructure development projects and her unfortunate bias against such development. To be clear, construction has not commenced on the Dakota Access Pipeline. As mentioned in Dakota Access’ prior brief, pre-construction surveying and tree clearing has taken place on parcels with voluntary easements.

Sierra Club’s brief response is even less credible. Sierra Club shockingly begins its filing with a blatant and obvious falsehood, one the Board can easily confirm for itself:
1 See Dakota Access Response Regarding Construction Activities at 2.

Dakota Access admits that it has conducted . . . construction of an electric substation to serve the pipeline’s pumping station.

Sierra Club Reply at 1. Sierra Club cites nothing to support this claim. As the Board should be aware, this is exactly the opposite of the truth. What Dakota Access said unambiguously in its Response was:

Further, the assertion that Dakota Access, a pipeline company, may be building an electrical substation is plainly false. Dakota Access is not in the business of, and has not undertaken the building of any electrical substation on any parcel.

Dakota Access Response Regarding Construction Activities at 2. There is no good faith way to transition from what Dakota Access actually represented in its previous brief to what Sierra Club claims Dakota Access represented. Sierra Club, in its overzealousness, has thrown away its credibility.

Dakota Access is not building and has not built a substation; Dakota Access is not an electric company. Aside from overheated accusations, Sierra Club has cited absolutely nothing to the contrary, and its unsupported, untruthful reply should be disregarded.

No party has filed any arguments of fact or law to address the extensive sources Dakota Access provided definitely showing that its tree-clearing and staking are not construction activities. They are legally allowed pre-construction preparation under the Board’s rules, the Board’s precedent, the similar rules of the Iowa DNR, analogous precedent of the Iowa Supreme Court, and the “definitions” section of the approved AIMP. The Board should so rule and bring closure to this issue.

Respectfully submitted this 8th day of April, 2016.

By: /s/ Bret A. Dublinske Bret A. Dublinske Lisa M. Agrimonti

Brant M. Leonard

FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A.

2

505 East Grand Ave, Suite 200 Des Moines, IA 50309 Telephone: 515.242.8904 Facsimile: 515.242.8950
E-mail: bdublinske@fredlaw.com

and

Keegan Pieper

Associate General Counsel

Dakota Access, LLC 1300 Main Street Houston, Texas 77002

ATTORNEYS FOR DAKOTA ACCESS, LLC

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The undersigned hereby certifies that on this 8th day of April, 2016, he had the foregoing document electronically filed with the Iowa Utilities Board using the EFS system which will send notification of such filing (electronically) to the appropriate persons.

/s/ Bret A. Dublinske

Bret A. Dublinske

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