Pipeline Documents

Diffley's Gardens of Eagan - Minncan Pipeline: Documents

Drake Journal of Agricultural Law Review


The routing and siting of MPL's MinnCan crude oil pipeline project provides a case study to assist in protecting organic farms from energy infrastructure. Affidavits and a highly detailed organic management plan established that the Diffley's Gardens of Eagan had had fifteen years of careful soil building to develop fertility and explicit plans for the use of non-crop producing areas of the farm for water drainage and beneficial habitat for birds, insects and mammals. Article includes the Organic Mitigation Appendix.

Agricultural Impact Mitigation Plan For Organic Agricultural Land


Legal Documents Submitted by Diffley's Gardens of Eagan in the MinnCan Routing Procedure.

Township and County Resolutions

Image of Gardens of Eagan kale field juxtaposed with the Koch owned Flint Hills oil refinery.

Judge Heydinger's Recommendation

Additional Materials of Interest

Media on the MinnCan Pipeline and Gardens of Eagan Intervention

Lessons I learned in the MinnCan proceeding

  1. Pubic rhetoric and informed citizen input are not the same thing. 4,200 letters from customers, and doctors and scientists respectfully educating how organic systems benefit society and how the loss of their organic food source will negatively affect their lives—that’s informed citizen input.
  2. It’s important to follow the legal process, even when it is a lousy one.
  3. Sometimes people get hung up on being right and being heard, and they don’t notice that they may not be effective. It’s more important to win.
  4. When we work for life we have allies EVERYWHERE! They want to help. They just need to know where and how to give support. Any one of us can lead and instigate change.
  5. When you have someone’s attention, ask for what you need.
  6. Compromise is part of the process.
  7. Recognize opportunity.
  8. Override your self-doubts. They are not useful when you need to be strong.
  9. When you are discouraged take a nap.

Thank You So Much!

Creation of an Organic Mitigation Plan for Minnesota and protecting Gardens of Eagan wouldn't have been possible without the support of more than 4,800 people who "spoke up." The testimonies of our expert witnesses, Dr. Deborah Allen, Jim Riddle and Craig Minowa were extremely valuable. Barth Anderson, Lindy Bannister and the Wedge Co-op were so helpful with writing and PR. Mississippi Market Food Co-op sent over 1,250 letters. All the Twin Cities Co-ops got the word out through newsletters and in store information. Eureka Township and Dakota County passed resolutions. Dr. Carl Rosen, Dr. Cindy Tong and Dr. Deon Stuthman of the University of Minnesota wrote respected letters of support. Leah Johnston and the Pulse article! O.C.A, Dana Jackson and Land Stewardship, and MOSES kept people informed. Bob Patton and Meg Moynihan at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Organic Advisory Task force played a positive role in identifying the differences between organic and conventional agriculture and the need to protect organic lands, and our attorney, Paula Maccabee.

Tips on Public Testimony to Protect Organic Farms

  1. Put your testimony in writing and bring a copy to give to the hearing judge and the court reporter.
  2. Summarize your testimony – speak no more than 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Explain who you are and your experience with organic farming and food.
  4. To the depth that you feel comfortable, speak about these key points:
  • Minnesota cannot afford to lose any organic farmland to pipeline construction.
  • Organic farms are vulnerable to loss of certification, soil destruction, and ecosystem damage. Where possible, routes should avoid organic farms.
  • Where it is not possible to avoid an organic farm, pipeline companies should be required to take mitigation precautions to reduce and repair damage to organic farms.
  • Organic food is vital for many people’s health as well as to serve the market for customers in the Midwest.

The crowd does the corn dance at the Diffley's Gardens of Eagan harvest party.
At the Harvest Party and Public Hearing Energizer, Martin’s band, the Pheromones, play “Tequila” while the crowd performs the Corn Dance. Photograph copyright 2006 Camille Maize Diffley.

Soil vs. Oil – The Pipeline Song

Sung to Ghost Riders in the Sky

Once upon a time Koch pipeline threatened GOE,
Their arrogance to healthy soil evoked the Diffleys,
When called they said, Organic huh, it matters not at all,
This is where… they made their mighty fall.

Once evoked Atina’s wrath is not simply subdued,
Their arrogance and foolishness her anger it has brewed,
No sleep is there for her at night as documents she writes,
Time for a change… we know our farm has rights.

Soil vs. Oil
Kale vs. Koch
NO pipeline on GOE

To the rescue came attorney Paula Maccabee,
Fighting oil companies is just her cup of tea,
With pen a blaze and fiery eyes she gave them quite a run,
Her favorite saying… isn’t this fun.

The co-ops jumped right to the front, to support and take a stand,
They won’t let their farmers down, when they need a hand,
Barth Anderson wrote letters; Jean held them to the cob,
Mississippi Market… did the letter-writing job.

Soil vs. Oil
Kale vs. Koch
NO pipeline on GOE

The public voice was really huge, the letters poured in fast,
People said, hey that’s my supper, I don’t want to fast,
Local and organic is what we want to see,
Move that pipeline… protect our GOE.

The media it had its day, went AP quickly too,
With oil spill in Little Falls, public response it grew,
Leah Johnston and the Pulse, explained it to the world,
Local and organic… was the banner they unfurled.

Soil vs. Oil
Kale vs. Koch
Come to the public hearings.

With Martin at the helm the farm rose to its own defense,
The crops never looked better as they gave their own two cents,
Now that’s some healthy soil, said visitors to the farm,
The prospect of the pipeline… it caused them much alarm.

The farm crew stayed on task each day with work that must be done,
To plant and hoe and irrigate, isn’t always fun,
Good attitudes all around, they make the work go quick,
But Mike’s vacations… they are on the nix.

Soil vs. Oil
Kale vs. Koch
Come to the public hearings.

The Ag Mit Plan it needs a boost, organic now addressed,
The needs and systems of these farms they must be assessed,
Avoidance when it’s feasible, is a fair demand,
Organic farms… they are developed land.

Deborah Allan, soil science of the first degree,
Jim Riddle he sat upon the board NOSB,
Craig Minowa, United Nations, environmentalist,
Expert witnesses… provide the evidence.

Soil vs. Oil
Kale vs. Koch
Come to the public hearings.
Come to the public hearings.