The Iowa Public Utilities Board has given a pipeline company seven days to file insurance documents, which it says have been in effect since August, but are not available for review.
The State Council, which authorized the construction of the pipeline in March 2016, seeks more information on the insurance policy underwritten by Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer. Partners, based in Texas.
"At the date of this order, Dakota Access had not yet filed with the Commission the insurance policies that had been in effect since August 15, 2018," the commission wrote in its order of December 28. "Dakota Access has stated that such policies are normally available within 30 to 60 days, which means that they should have been available by mid-October. Accordingly, the Commission will require Dakota Access to provide the insurance policies in effect for review by the Commission within seven days of the date of this order. "
A question that still seems uncertain is whether the $ 25 million insurance policy, required by the IUB before the permit is issued, is dedicated to repairing the damage caused by a spill in Iowa, or if this $ 25 million could be used in any scenario. State along the pipeline route, which runs 1,134 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.
When the IUB placed its order in March 2016 authorizing the pipeline, "among other conditions, Dakota Access had to maintain general liability insurance of at least $ 25,000,000 throughout the period the pipeline, "writes the board.
The board wrote that this policy had been filed properly just days after the March 2016 order. On August 16, 2018, the board received a letter regarding new insurance policies, along with the letter. assurance that copies of new policies may be filed with the Board upon request.
The insurance policy is about $ 50 million, said Dakota Access.
However, the council asked for more details because it seems that the policy could be used anywhere.
"Dakota Access recognizes that the policies cover the entire pipeline and that an incident that occurred in North Dakota, South Dakota or Illinois would be covered in the same way as a". incident in Iowa would be covered, "wrote the board of directors on October 16th. jurisdiction over the portion of the Iowa Pipeline, so that the Board's order inherently concerned only that portion of the pipeline crossed by the State. "
Now that he has had more time to review the answers to the questions he asked in September, the UIB wrote, it appears that there may not be $ 25 million available just for the first time. Iowa, as provided by the Board of Directors.
"In light of the current review of policies, the Commission now understands that the policies do not specifically cover $ 25,000,000 for Iowa, since an incident in one of the other States can create claims within the limits of the policy, leaving no cover for all parties involved in Iowa, "he wrote.
The next statement from Dakota Access indicated that it would create a specific policy in Iowa from the current $ 50 million policy: "(Dakota Access) stated to have discussed the issue with its brokers. insurance and that she could obtain a separate policy covering an incident occurring within the borders of Iowa. If that happened, the new policies would cover $ 25,100,000 for Iowa while excluding Iowa from the initial coverage of $ 25,100,000 under existing policies, "wrote IUB. .
The council wishes to know the details of these policies to ensure that Iowa is covered, for example, against a spill occurring just outside the state borders, and to determine whether the new Split policy would be better or worse for the state than the original $ 50 million. the council wrote in its December order.
Dakota Access said in its August filing that the $ 25-million policy requirement was not legal, but said it would comply with this requirement anyway .
"Dakota Access also claims that the Commission's requirements go beyond what is permitted by Iowa Code … which requires a bond or proof of ownership in the state in the amount of $ 250,000," wrote the commission.
But the Iowa code gives the council "extensive powers" to protect landowners from potential damage, the council said. Although the law sets a minimum amount, this does not preclude the board from demanding more.
In addition, Dakota Access did not object to the board ordering the creation of insurance policies as soon as it was published in March 2016, the board said in its most recent order.
It was time to raise the issue, not now, he said.
Dakota Access maintains that it has adequate insurance coverage since the beginning of the pipeline, and IUB does not seem to contradict this assertion.