North Dakota regulators eye fine against pipeline company

Oil Pipeline Protest Federal Land
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2016 file photo, More than a thousand people gather at an encampment near North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The sprawling encampment that’s a protest against the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline has most everything it needs to be self-sustaining _ except a federal permit to be there. The camp near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers in North Dakota is on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators are proposing a fine of at least $15,000 against the company building the four-state Dakota Access pipeline.

The Public Service Commission said Monday in a complaint that a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners didn’t get regulators’ approval to proceed with construction after artifacts, including stone cairns, were found last month.

The company diverted construction so the artifacts weren’t disturbed, a plan the State Historic Preservation Office concurred with. But the PSC says the company should have gotten clearance from regulators.

Energy Transfer Partners can agree to a fine or request a hearing. Spokeswoman Vicki Granado says the company doesn’t think it did anything wrong but is working with the PSC.

The $3.8 billion pipeline will carry North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois.

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