The North Dakota Public Service Commission has set aside Oct. 3-4 for an investigative hearing on whether the developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline violated conditions of its state permit.

The hearing, originally scheduled for Thursday, will focus on whether developer Energy Transfer Partners removed too many trees during construction of the pipeline in North Dakota. In addition, the commission is investigating whether the developer improperly handled soil during the project construction.

Commissioners scheduled the new hearing date Wednesday after earlier in the week voting to postpone it at the request of Dakota Access. In the meantime, attorneys from Dakota Access and the Public Service Commission staff will continue to meet to attempt to resolve the issues.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, who had opposed the delay, said it was important to reschedule the hearing and keep the investigation on track.

“Our goal here is to maintain the standards of the permit and the commitments that have been made to the public through it,” Fedorchak said.

The commission had not yet heard whether Dakota Access will accept a $15,000 settlement offer to resolve a dispute over whether the company broke state law when it failed to notify regulators about rerouting the pipeline to avoid cultural artifacts in Morton County. The company has until Aug. 24 to consider the offer.

(Reach Amy Dalrymple at 701-250-8267 or Amy.Dalrymple@bismarcktribune.com)

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