Audio: Public Service Commissioner Says Dakota Access Pipeline Company Likely to Be Fined

A pickup is parked on the hill near where stone cairns and other artifacts were discovered on the Dakota Access Pipeline route on Oct. 17, 2016, in southern Morton County, N.D. Courtesy of North Dakota Public Service Commission

I had Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak on my radio show today to talk about news from earlier this week that the Dakota Access Pipeline company had been tardy in reporting an archaeological to her agency.

On October 15 the DAPL folks discovered some stone cairns and other artifacts along the pipeline route. On October 17 the company reported the find to the State Historical Society and a route change was approved to avoid the site. But it wasn’t until October 27 that the find was reported to the PSC, and that only happened because a third party inspector discovered the find.

“They didn’t report to us until we went to them with it,” Fedorchak told me.

Still, Fedorchak said she was very happy to see that the pipeline company reported the find to historical experts immediately. While she expects the company to be fined, she said she doesn’t expect them to receive the maximum.

“I don’t view this as the worst possible violation so I wouldn’t support a maximum fine,” she told me.

State law would allow the pipeline company to be fined a maximum of $10,000 per day, for a total of $100,000 for the 10 day delay in reporting the find.

Here’s the audio:

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Rob Port is the editor of, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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