By Christine Nobiss
August 5th, 2017
A New Pipeline in Iowa
This is a staging area in Boone County, Iowa where DAPL had their equipment and debris but now is being used by Precision Pipeline LLC to build a 13 mile natural gas line to Des Moines.
The problem with the staging areas used by the pipelines is that the areas where the equipment and material is held is often completely desecrated. For instance, they start by scraping off the topsoil so that they can get down to more compact clay and or rock so that their machines can easily drive in and out of the area. Of course, when they replace said soil after they have finished with the area the natural stratification of the soil is disturbed and any original native plants and grasses will most likely be taken over by weeds.
Furthermore, they create lagoon that fills up with water and creates a toxic mess when pipes and other debris (such as treated wood) from the process of building the pipeline are left there to sit-sometimes for months or even over a year. Imagine metal debris, treated wood and the spills from diesel and other machine fluids resting in this water.
When the lagoon becomes too full the water needs to be pumped out. At the staging area in Boone County, Iowa, there is a documented incident where DAPL pumped out this toxic water into the public ditch next to the staging area. Furthermore, this water from staging areas eventually leaches into the ground and pollutes the surrounding environment and possibly even aquifers.
There is also the issue of wildlife. Without knowing what quality or state this water is in, birds such as geese and ducks will swim in it. I'm not a wildlife biologist, but I'm sure this is not a healthy body of water for these animals to inhabit.
The process of scraping off topsoil to create more navigable staging areas is one of the many issues surrounding the construction of pipelines and other infrastructure projects in this country and around the world.