Lincoln County Commission approves Dakota Access Pipeline pump station

HARRISBURG, S.D. (KSFY) - In a four to one vote, the Lincoln County Commission decided to uphold the Planning Commissions' approval of the conditional use permit for a pump station for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Dakota Access Pipeline purchased more than 30 acres of land southeast of Harrisburg; 12 acres are designated for the station. It is expected to cost $30 to 40 million to build.

But, those against the station say it could cause issues in the future.

"This is a hazardous, industrial facility being built in what is planned to be a residential and more urban landscape," Kelsie Thomas, Dakota Rural Action Homegrown Sioux Empire member, said. "And where some individuals and rural folks live right now."

Last month, the Lincoln County Planning Commission approved the project, but members of Dakota Rural Action appealed the decision to the county commission.

"I think the appeal process today could be seen as a win, Thomas said. "It could be seen as an opportunity for landowners and individuals to voice their concerns which didn't happen at the first hearing."

In a statement from Dakota Access Pipeline, the company currently moves more than 550,000 barrels of oil a day through the line. But, with the addition of the pump station, that number could grow to more than one million.

The company says the upgrade will allow further development and economic growth.

"I think there's a lot of safety, a lot of safety concerns we're looking at over-doubling the capacity of crude oil passing through that pipeline," Thomas said. "I think more oil is more risk, and that risk is to the people, to the land, to the water that are surrounding it."

The company says the pipeline is the safest and most efficient means to transport crude oil.

But, Thomas says this will only help the company and not benefit the community.

In addition to this station, the company plans on adding additional stations in North Dakota and Illinois.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC, is also donating $20,000 to each emergency management agency across South Dakota. The money is given to counties through which the pipeline travels. The aim is to help first responders, and each county is encouraged to use the funds where they need them the most.