"Toxic Crude" becomes a focus for landowners opposed to the Bakken Oil Pipeline

Opponents of the project burned crude on Tuesday

By TIM SEAMAN | tseaman@kcautv.com

Published 08/30 2016 07:04PM

Updated 08/30 2016 10:24PM

Although an Iowa District Court Judge denied their request for a temporary halt in construction, opponents of the Bakken Pipeline aren't backing down yet.

15 landowners are still fighting the use of eminent domain as a way of acquiring property for the pipeline.
The groups newest argument is about what they call "toxic crude."

This is what happens when you ignite crude oil.  Surprised? Probably not but this demonstration during a news conference is meant to call attention to what exactly is in that crude.  And that yes, it is explosive.

"Three weeks and a 50 cent sample to determine what's going through the pipeline and whether or not it's toxic. Those are the questions you would want to know before you talk about the route. Especially when you're crossing rivers and watersheds, the western 2/3rds of Iowa is at risk, said Keith Puntenny.  He's one of the landowners owners on the Bakken Pipeline route.

He says he went to North Dakota and got some samples of Bakken oil from an undisclosed well location and sent the samples to an Iowa State University lab.

"The class of compounds, hydrocarbons, does contain a fair number of individual members that are known to be toxic," said Steve Veysey of Iowa State University.

One of the main concerns is benzene a cancer causing agent.  This group says the findings prove that more testing needs to be done and the pipeline route needs to be changed. The Iowa Utilities Board, that approved the pipeline, would have to make that call.

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