Dakota Access disputes state archaeologist

A Texas oil company is challenging the findings and recommendation of Iowa’s state archaeologist to reroute its proposed Bakken oil pipeline in order to avoid northwestern Iowa’s Big Sioux River Wildlife area. Native tribes insist that the land is a sacred, ancient burial ground.

Lisa Dillinger, a spokeswoman for Dakota Access, said that State Archaeologist John Doershuk has jurisdiction of overseeing the relocation and handling of historic remains only if human remains found there are older than 150 years. Board Chairwoman Geri Huser was angered over the Iowa Utilities Board’s order to allow the construction because the permit is currently subject to judicial reviews. Dillinger contended that a 2004 archaeological survey cleared the property of any historic or archaeological sites. However, that survey was conducted for fence improvements and noted “no technique is completely adequate to locate all archaeological materials, especially deeply buried ones.” A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources stated only: “We are going to continue to work with all of the parties involved until all of the questions have been answered.”

If you have any legal needs relating to a boundary dispute, the legal team at Arenson Law Group, PC can help. Call us at (319) 363-8199 to discuss the details of your situation and learn more about your rights and options under the law.