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The Dakota Access pipeline has won approval from Iowa officials to begin construction, despite push back from environmentalist groups.

According to the Des Moines Register, the Iowa Utilities Board authorized Texas-based Dakota Access LLC to begin the construction process on Monday.

The Dakota Access Pipeline Project will span 1,168 miles and will connect Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.

The Army Corps of Engineers has not yet granted the company permits for water crossings but the majority of the project will be built outside of that area, the Des Moines Register said.

The pipeline will transport 450,000 barrels per day and is expected to have a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day or more.

Image courtesey of Dakota Access Pipeline LLC.
Image courtesey of Dakota Access Pipeline LLC.

The Sierra Club’s Iowa Chapter said in a statement last Wednesday that it has filed a petition for judicial review in Polk County District Court challenging the Iowa Utilities Board’s decision to issue a construction permit.

The project is also facing legal challenges from some landowners who object to the project being granted eminent domain to access farmland, the Des Moines Register said.

The pipeline has also drawn criticism from Native American groups and several high-profile actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio.

A company spokesperson told the Des Moines Register that Dakota Access has given landowners proper notification about the project.

Depending upon regulatory approvals, the pipeline is projected to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2016.