Army Corps denies Dakota Access route through Standing Rock

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Army Corps of Engineers deny easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • It is being reported that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline will have to reroute the $3.2 billion project

  • The Secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers made the announcement to Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Archambault

  • The 1,172-mile pipeline needed the approval of the easement to finish construction

In a stunning turn of events, the Secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers has told Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Archambault that the Dakota Access route has been denied.

The 1,172-mile long pipeline was nearly complete and just needed one last easement under Lake Oahe when the announcement was made.

Native Americans have made the argument that the land is owned by them due to the 1851 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty. The decision to reroute through the neighboring town of Bismarck and go through the Sioux land led to a standoff between water protectors and the Dakota Access Pipeline.

On Sunday, thousands of veterans poured into the Oceti Sakowin Camp to protect those who have been fighting the pipeline for months. The anouncement of the denial was made in the midst of the arrival of the veterans.

While this is a huge victory for those opposing the pipeline, for many the battle is not over. The denial of the easement does not stop the construction of the pipeline. Instead, the decision forces the company to reroute the pipeline.

The Army released the following statement.

The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.

Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is an approximately 1,172 mile pipeline that would connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to an existing crude oil terminal near Pakota, Illinois. The pipeline is 30 inches in diameter and is projected to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day, with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels. The current proposed pipeline route would cross Lake Oahe, an Army Corps of Engineers project on the Missouri River.

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