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Wapello County gets $20K Donation from Owners of Dakota Access Pipeline

By Ellis Codjoe, October 19, 2017

The company that built the Dakota Access oil pipeline that runs diagonally across Iowa, from the northwest to the southeast, is making donations to emergency responders in every county the pipeline crosses in Iowa and three other states.

Mike Futch, vice president of Energy Transfer Partners, explains the motive.

Futch says, “In recognition of our dedication and our commitment to operate our pipelines in a very safe and regulatory-compliant and reliable manner, one of the things that’s very important to a system like that is a very close working relationship with first responders and emergency responders.”

The pipeline crosses 18 counties in Iowa and also carves a path across Illinois and North and South Dakota. The news conference was held in South Dakota and Futch says they want to be good corporate partners with every county the pipeline touches.

“We are making a contribution to every county in the state of South Dakota that we cross in the amount of $20,000 for a total of 13 counties,” Futch says, “so that’s $260,000 that we are contributing throughout the state of South Dakota, $20,000 to each emergency services and first responders unit.”

In Iowa, the total donation is $360,000 to units in 18 counties. The total donation in the four states adds up to $1-million as the pipeline covers 50 counties.

The pipeline passes through portions of Northern Wapello County, and Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Richmond says the county hasn’t decided yet how it will spend the donation.

“It’ll be in the Emergency management budget until we decide what kinds of projects we want to fund. We’ll be looking for projects that give the best impact to the community,” Richmond told Ottumwa Radio News.

Richmond added that an official ceremony will be held next week, where a company representative will present the check to Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller.

Other area counties crossed by the Dakota Access Pipeline include Mahaska, Jefferson, Van Buren, Lee and Keokuk counties. Each will also receive a check for $20,000.

Chuck Fry, vice president for liquid pipelines at Energy Transfer, says the pipeline passing through Iowa is now fully assembled and carrying petroleum.

“Operationally, it can run at full capacity but it’s not fully subscribed by shippers yet,” Fry says.

The company is also giving the state of North Dakota 15-million dollars for protest-related expenses.

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