Judge hears landowners' challenge to Dakota Access pipeline

By The Asssociated Press

A group of Iowa landowners forced to allow a Texas oil company to put a crude oil pipeline under their farmland is asking the state courts to throw out what they consider "illegal easements" through their land and some say if they win they want the pipeline dug up and removed.

Dakota Access pipeline protesters march from the Polk County Courthouse to a public meeting space to hold a rally Dec. 15, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. The protests came after a judge heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by several Iowa landowners who challenge forceful taking of their land for the pipeline and challenge the state's permit process. (AP Photo/David Pitt)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A group of Iowa landowners forced to allow a Texas oil company to put a crude oil pipeline under their farmland is asking the state courts to throw out what they consider "illegal easements" through their land and some say if they win they want the pipeline dug up and removed.

A district court judge in Des Moines heard arguments Thursday in the lawsuit challenging the Dakota Access pipeline.

About a dozen landowners seek to overturn the project permit approved by the Iowa Utilities Board and they claim it was illegal for the board to take farmland when the pipeline provides no public service to Iowans.

The pipeline attorney argued the project is completed making the case moot. He says Iowa law gives the utilities board authority to issue pipeline permits.

Any decision is likely to be appealed.

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