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Commissioners uphold Dakota Access pump station permit to increase capacity

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Commissioners uphold Dakota Access pump station permit to increase capacity

Regulators on a South Dakota county commission upheld a conditional use permit for a pump station on Energy Transfer LP's Dakota Access crude oil pipeline route, according to an Oct. 22 report from local ABC affiliate KSFY.

The commission's 4-1 vote sustained a previous decision made by the Lincoln County Planning Commission to grant the permit, the station reported. Members of the conservation-focused group Dakota Rural Action had appealed the Planning Commission's decision, contending that their appeal could give landowners and other party stakeholders a chance to challenge the pipeline facility.

The compressor station, part of a planned $30 million to $40 million upgrade, could increase the line's capacity from 550,000 barrels of oil per day to over 1 million bbl/d, Energy Transfer told the news outlet. Energy Transfer has already purchased more than 30 acres of land, planning to dedicate about 12 of those to the compressor station, the report said.

The existing 1,172-mile pipeline transports crude from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to a hub near Patoka, Ill.

The Dakota Access line development has sparked major protests among community members and environmental groups in recent years. In the wake of long-lasting and acrimonious conflict, Energy Transfer turned to a North Dakota state court to file a complaint against environmental group Greenpeace and its allies. As recently as July, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other opponents of the pipeline project objected to the company's proposal to double the capacity of the pipeline in June. The company claimed the green groups schemed to cause financial and physical harm to its employees as well as the 1,172-mile Dakota Access pipeline.

The project began commercial service in June 2017.