South Dakota’s Portion of Oil Pipeline Nearly Finished

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Work on the four-state pipeline whose construction has sparked protests in North Dakota is nearly finished in South Dakota.

The Dakota Access pipeline operator, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, in a report filed Friday with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission said that 100 percent of the pipe is underground in the state, including beneath waterways such as the Big Sioux River, the Argus Leader reported. The $3.8 billion, 1,200-mile pipeline will carry oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois.

The PUC approved construction of the 272-mile stretch last December. It required the operator to submit quarterly reports and water permits, as well as the use of a third-party compliance monitor.

The operator in the report filed Friday said the pump station in Redfield is 85 percent complete. The company is working on erosion control and testing.

Earlier, the company filed proof of the temporary water use permits it obtained, which allow crews to pull water from the Big Sioux and other sources to run it through the lines for testing.

The pipeline’s construction has drawn thousands of protesters over the past several weeks to an area in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Opponents worry about potential effects on drinking water on the reservation and farther downstream because the pipeline will cross the Missouri River, as well as destruction of cultural artifacts.

The number of arrests in connection with the protests reached more than 220 on Saturday, when more than 80 people were taken into custody after a demonstration at a construction site.

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