Category Archives: 1000 Friends of Iowa News

Call for Bakken Oil Pipeline Construction Monitors

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**UPDATE July 19, 2016

The Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, which 1000 Friends of Iowa is a member, is looking for people to “adopt” a section of the pipeline route to watch DAPL’s construction and be the eyes and ears for justice.

To sign up to be a Pipeline monitor, just follow this link: Pipeline Monitors

Because it is crucial to protect our waters and support landowners who are trying to protect their land, we want to create a team of people along the pipeline route who can monitor their section for violations of the law.

For those who are willing to help monitor a section of the pipeline, you will:
  • Participate in a training call
  • Receive a short guidebook to the rules for either Iowa or South Dakota with all the information you need to do the monitoring
  • Monitor your segment of the pipeline when construction begins
  • Notify authorities if DAPL violates the law
  • Notify the Resistance Coalition with regular updates by posting pictures, videos, and written notes on a Facebook page
  • Work with the team to take action, especially around water crossings and on property owned by landowners who have resisted Dakota Access’ efforts to condemn their land.

We want to create a team of people across Iowa and South Dakota that can help defend our land and water.

If you’re willing to be a pipeline monitor, follow the link below and fill in your contact information. We’ll send you the call-in information for the training call and handbook.

To sign up as a monitor,  follow this link: Pipeline Monitors

 

**UPDATE April 12, 2016

The only thing preventing Dakota Access from beginning construction on the Bakken Pipeline is the Army Corps of Engineers permit.
With your help, we can make sure the Army Corps of Engineers denies the permit.

Take two simple actions!

  1. Sign our petition to tell the Army Corps to conduct a full environmental impact statement and to deny the permit! Just click here to sign the petition.
  2. Email Brent Cossette and Col. John Henderson at the Army Corps of Engineers and tell them a FULL and complete environmental impact statement is non-negotiable!
For talking points for your email, click here.

Currently the Army Corps of Engineers is only evaluating the project in a piecemeal fashion, rather than looking at the entire project.

This hazardous and unjust pipeline cannot be evaluated piece by piece. It is impossible for the Army Corps to grasp the true consequence and nature of this toxic project if they look at it through a narrowed lens.

Stay tuned for next steps.

Stopping the Bakken Pipeline

“Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.” Russell Baker

Join us Wednesday, December 16 for  the Iowa DNR’s public hearing on the proposed Bakken Pipeline.

Dakota Access, the company seeking approval to build the Bakken Pipeline, must obtain a permit from Iowa Department of Natural Resources to build its pipeline across Iowa’s public lands.

As part of its consideration of this permit, the DNR is holding a public hearing this Wednesday, Dec. 16, in Des Moines, in the auditorium of the Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. Ninth St., in Des Moines, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. 

That means we need a lot of you there to make sure the Iowa DNR hears us load and clear – “NO BAKKEN PIPELINE IN IOWA!”

Talking points  include:
  • The Threat to Iowa’s Soil and water. The proposed Bakken pipeline would represent an on going threat to Iowa’s precious natural resources, as countless crude oil pipeline accidents have proven. Just this January, the Bridger Pipeline poured between 40,000 and 50,000 gallons of Bakken crude into the pristine Yellowstone River.  In Iowa, the Bakken pipeline would run beneath virtually every major waterway in the state, including the Big Sioux, Des Moines, and Mississppi rivers.
  • The Threat to Iowa’s Economy. Current Iowa law would require Dakota access to provide a surety bond of just $250,000 to cover potential damages. In reality, that is just a drop in the bucket for actual clean up costs and would leave Iowa tax payers holding the bill.  Cleanup costs for just one  spill, that pumped one million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, have already cost over one BILLION dollars. And there is more clean up still to do. Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access, wrote, “We may incur substantial environmental costs and liabilities because of the underlying risk inherent to our operations.”
  • The Assault on Landowner Rights Through Eminent Domain Abuse. Dakota Access has formally asked the three-member Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to grant the company the power of eminent domain, which would give the company the power to force Iowa landowners to provide easements against their will. This would be an egregious abuse of eminent domain, which, by law, only can be granted when there is significant “public convenience and necessity.” However, all three members of the IUB have been appointed by Governor Branstad, whose re-election campaign received support from former Texas governor Rick Perry, now an Energy Transfer Partners’ board member.
  • The Threat to the World’s Climate. Every established scientific organization in the world has affirmed that the earth’s climate is rapidly changing and that human use of fossil fuels is the primary cause. According the former NASA climatologist, James Hansen, who was the first to address Congress on climate change nearly 30 years ago, 80% of fossil fuel reserves already discovered must remain in the ground if we are to avoid cataclysmic climate change.The Bakken pipeline would do just the opposite, facilitating the daily extraction of an additional 570,000 barrels of climate changing crude oil.

 

Let us know you’re coming!  Please RSVP by clicking here. 

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Sample Talking Points for the IUB hearing Nov 12, 2015:

The following basic talking points are here for your reference – but do share you story and thoughts regarding the proposed Bakken Pipeline in any way you see fit!

Eminent Domain and the Pipeline

  • Dakota Access wants to use eminent domain to force land owners to allow the pipeline to be built there.
  • No private, for profit corporation should have the ability to use eminent domain to take property from the rightful owners for their own personal gain, and for the sake of profits.
  • The Bakken pipeline has no public benefit for the state of Iowa. The oil and the profits will go out of state.

The effects on agriculture land have not been thoroughly investigated:

  • Iowa farmland and recreation areas will be damaged with the pipeline’s construction and when the pipeline leaks.
  • The oil flowing through the pipeline will generate heat that will affect freeze-thaw cycles, soil microbes, wildlife, and plants.
  • According to Dr. Tom Fenton from ISU, soil compaction may reduce yields for many years.
  • The Agriculture mitigation plan does not adequately protect and restore the 3 layers of soil – topsoil, subsoil, and parent material.  Mixing the layers will reduce soil fertility.

The pipeline provides little economic benefit to Iowa and to Iowans:

  • According to ISU economist Dave Swenson, this project would create far fewer jobs are expected than Dakota Access is promoting – less than 12 permanent full-time jobs.
  • There is no guarantee that most of the jobs will be going to Iowans.
  • We’re not against jobs. Jobs should move us into the 21st century and away from oil.
  • There is no guarantee that this oil will be used in the United States since Obama lifted the ban on exporting crude oil.
  • This is not a question of pipe versus rail. All business predictions suggest the industry will continue to transport oil through both pipe AND rail in order to quickly move their products.

Pipelines leak:

  • The state’s indemnity fund for cleaning up a spill is only $250,000 – barely enough to clean up the most minor spill. Recent oil spills have cost far more in clean-up:  $70 million (2013 Mayflower, AL), $1.2 billion (2010 Kalamazoo, MI)
  • This isn’t about bad welding or poor workmanship.  It is about a corrosive, volatile substance that can destroy acres of farmland, waterways and wildlife habitat when it leaks.
  • Oil and water do not mix – creating dangers to wildlife, recreation areas, and drinking water.

This pipeline will exacerbate climate change:

  • We already have the technology we need to invest in wind & solar, moving beyond Big Oil
  • We should invest in renewable energy–creating jobs without the environmental risk to future generations

The IUB needs to require Dakota Access to perform an environmental impact study:

  • Dakota Access hasn’t done adequate environmental studies and is not required to do so.
  • The IUB has denied requests to have an environmental impact statement prepared.  Dakota Access needs to be forced to do that study before they are given a permit.
  • It is doubtful that construction crews will be able to identify and detect threatened and endangered species and not destroy them.  That is why studies need to be done.
  • It is doubtful that construction crews will be able to identify and detect archaeological artifacts and not destroy them.  That is why studies need to be done.
  • Most of the major rivers in Iowa will be crossed  including the Missouri, Mississippi, North Raccoon, South Skunk; additionally, the Jordan Aquifer would be crossed, the water source for 300,000 Iowans.
  • The IUB is counting on DNR to take into consideration the risks to the natural areas.  However DNR is only looking at sovereign lands – 3 rivers and 1 wildlife area.  The IUB needs to ensure that lands not evaluated by the DNR are examined.
  • The IUB is counting on Army Corps to evaluate impacts on the waterways of the state.  However the Corps is only looking at 17 isolated sites. The IUB should mandate impacts to waterways are evaluated.
  • The IUB can’t rely on the DNR, Corps, Archaeologists to deal with environmental impacts because they have limited jurisdiction.  The IUB needs to step up to the plate and require an environmental impact study where the other agencies do not have jurisdiction.

More About the Pipeline

A Texas company is proposing a 343-mile underground pipeline to cut diagonally across 17 Iowa counties on its path from North Dakota to Illinois. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners has proposed the pipeline will span four states for a total length of 1,134 miles carrying 570,000 barrels of crude oil each day from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, IL where the crude will be redistributed across the U.S.

Energy Transfer Partners has asked the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for permission to build the underground pipeline in Iowa. Board approval would give the company access to eminent domain powers which would force landowners to sell their property if a sale agreement is not reached. A group opposing the project asked Governor Branstad to block the proposal; a request the Governor declined.

Economic development projects should be analyzed on what we have to lose in the long run as well as short-term, one time gains. One has to ask, who stands to benefit most from this pipeline? Not Iowans.

The Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition’s site for a wealth of resources on the issue. The coalition has also set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep the public informed of the very latest.

2015 Best Development Awards

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2015 Best Deve1000FRIENDSBDAlopment Awards

1000 Friends of Iowa’s Best Development Awards program is designed to bring attention to cities, companies, non-profit organizations, and individuals who demonstrate how responsible development and planning practices provide benefits to the community, the environment, and quality of life for future generations. Nominated buildings and projects help advance sustainability across our state by considering site placement, design, water efficiency, energy management, materials and resources used, indoor environmental quality, public use, and long-term benefits. There’s no entry fee to submit an application. Deadline is December 15, 2015. Apply today!

Categories:

  • New Residential
  • Renovated Residential
  • New Commercial/Civic
  • Renovated Commercial/Civic
  • Mixed Use
  • Leadership
  • Storm Water Management

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE BEST DEVELOPMENT AWARDS GUIDELINES AND APPLICATION.

Contact Lori Schervish at awards@1000friendsofiowa.org or Kari Carney at Kari@1000friendsofiowa.org with any questions.

1000 Friends of Iowa Announces 2014 Best Development Award Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: Siobhan Spain, 515-707-2783, awards@1000friendofiowa.org

January 8, 2014 (Des Moines, Iowa) – 1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Best Development Awards. The awards program showcases projects that recognize connections between building development and quality of life. With a mission focused on responsible land use, 1000 Friends of Iowa promotes smart growth planning principles that help achieve communities that are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable.

Please join 1000 Friends of Iowa in acknowledging the hard work of the 2014 Best Development Award winners, and promoting the good happening in our communities that make Iowa great:

1. New Residential: Madison Flats, Des Moines
Neighborhood Development Corporation cleaned up a contaminated site to build an apartment building and spark further developments in a blighted neighborhood with potential. Located across the river from Principal Park, Madison Flats is positioned to make a “catalytic impact in the Two Rivers District, encouraging other good projects in the area,” as one Best Development Award juror stated.

2. Renovated Residential (Co-Winners):
a. 1924 Leyner Street, Des Moines
The ambitious project by Indigo Dawn relocated a dilapidated Victorian-era bungalow and transformed it into a 1500 square foot home with a full basement, porch and updated amenities. It features include an insulated basement floor and walls; diverse stormwater management practices; and use of salvage and recycled materials.
b. 4818 Urbandale Avenue, Des Moines
Not deterred by gaping holes in the roof, a crumbling garage, and a bathtub ready to fall through the floor, David Barzen of Sterling Investments recognized that the 1920 Beaverdale Craftsman had “good bones.” The project is an example of how one person’s passion can make a difference that inspires a community. The neighborhood nuisance property is now home to a grateful family.

3. New Commercial/Civic: Viking Center, Stanton
A strong group of Stanton, Iowa, residents persevered over seven years to plan, build and dedicate the City’s Viking Center, a public building featuring a preschool, library, wellness center, walking track, gymnasium, multi-purpose community room and 625-person tornado shelter. In a community with a population of 700, over 400 people formed a “human chain” six blocks long, passing books hand to hand from the old library to the new center.

4. Renovated Commercial/Civic: Green Pilot Streetscape Project, West Union
A RAGBRAI event motivated community members to turn a standard streetscape infrastructure project into a downtown sustainable revitalization endeavor that included the renovation of 10 building facades; a district geothermal heating and cooling system; and a comprehensive stormwater management project. The Best Development Award jurors join the many voices concurring that this is simply an amazing story.

5. Mixed Use: 421 Main Street, Slater
In 2006, a dilapidated vacant building in Slater, Iowa, collapsed leaving a large clean-up bill, public safety and health concerns, and an economic development void. Learning from this trying event, City of Slater turned another nuisance property into an impactful opportunity. The renovated mixed use building acts as a beacon for other communities faced with similar challenges.

6. Leadership: Woodbine Main Street District, Woodbine
The work began in 2007 when the western Iowa town of 1,500 residents acknowledged their downtown, comprised of three square blocks with 10 vacant and decaying buildings, must be addressed. Prioritizing collaboration, pursuing diverse funding sources and accomplishing project after project has enabled Woodbine to reap the economic and community-building benefits of revitalizing existing assets.

7. Stormwater Management: Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project’s Green Alley Program, Dubuque
The urban municipality’s ambitious 12-phase 20 -year community flood mitigation project retrofits alley infrastructure within the city’s Bee Branch Watershed with pervious pavement. By allowing stormwater to soak into the ground, Dubuque is able to reduce stormwater runoff by up to 80%, replenish the groundwater, and lessen the amount of pollutants entering the storm sewer system and ultimately the Mississippi River.

The Best Development Awards are selected from a pool of applications each year and judged by an independent group of jurors. This year’s jurors included Ryan Peterson of Impact7G, Iowa State University graduate student Kristen Greteman, and City of Ankeny Community Development Director John Peterson. Plaques commemorating each 2014 Best Development Awards recipient will be presented to the winners individually.

1000 Friends of Iowa, founded in 1998, is a statewide nonprofit organization focused on land use education. Its mission is to unite Iowans in efforts to protect farmland and natural areas, revitalize neighborhoods, towns and cities, and improve quality of life for future generations.

Additional details about each winning project and 1000 Friends of Iowa’s smart growth priorities can be found at www.1000FriendsofIowa.org.

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Press Release: 2014 Best Development Award Winners

2014 Best Development Awards Recipients

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to present the recipients of the 2014 Best Development Awards! Take a moment to learn more about each recipient and join us in congratulating them!

  • New Residential: Madison Flats, Des Moines
  • Renovated Residential: (Co-Winners) 1924 Leyner Street, Des Moines & 4818 Urbandale Avenue, Des Moines
  • New Commercial/Civic: Viking Center, Stanton
  • Renovated Commercial/Civic: Green Pilot Streetscape Project, West Union
  • Mixed Use: 421 Main Street, Slater
  • Leadership: Woodbine Main Street District, Woodbine
  • Stormwater Management: Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project’s Green Alley Program, Dubuque

 

Field Trip to Griffieon Family Farm

The Raising Arrows Homeschool Co-op visited the Griffieon Family Farm on September 11, 2014. It was cold – but the kids didn’t seem to mind! The chickens, turkeys, horses, buildings and machinery captivated the class. They even enjoyed a little free time in the field! The sights, smells and feel of life on a farm create memories and help children (and adults) make connections to the world around them. The Griffieons have hosted countless field trips over the years, educating kids about land use, inspiring young minds and having fun in the process!