The three-member Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) voted unanimously last week to approve a state permit for a crude oil pipeline that would cross 18 counties in Iowa, covering 343 miles on a diagonal path from northwest to southeast Iowa.

The pipeline project, called the Dakota Access Pipeline, would connect the oil production fields in North Dakota to terminal facilities in southern Illinois. Other states along the pipeline route have already approved the construction of the pipeline owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.Construction on the pipeline is expected to begin this spring.

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