- Army will Not Grant Easement for DAPL Lake Oahe Construction
- The Pipeline Is Expected To Be Rerouted
- The Decision Could Be Appealed
- Trump Prepared To See Pipeline Completed
Construction Under The River Is Not Permitted
In a statement released Sunday, December 4th, the Army Corps of Engineers declared that it would not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline project under Lake Oahe. An action of reroute was proposed and an environmental impact analysis is expected to be conducted by the Army as well. This comes months after Dakota Access Pipeline construction workers destroyed burial grounds and already built under the Missouri River in other locations of the country.
"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." - Army Corps
While some are hesitant to be victorious just yet, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe showed some immediate gratitude. "The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision" said the tribe in their public statement published after the news traveled.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 5, 2016
Army POC: Moira Kelley (703) 614-3992, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The Pipeline Is Expected To Be Rerouted
The pipeline was not stopped, but rather has been rerouted - even though it's already been built directly in front of Lake Oahe. With billions of dollars invested in the project and with construction sites still heavily guarded near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's land, the claims of a reroute leave some on edge.
"the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes"
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said "Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes."
As reported by campers on the scene, Morton County Police and construction presence are near the campsites even as the Army Corps makes their decision to halt the current route.
The Decision Could Be Appealed
The tribes understand this could all be reset as soon as Trump's inauguration sets in and will be monitoring the new administration closely. At any point the president elect and his cabinet can challenge the actions and try to appeal them. “They [Energy Transfer Partners] can sue, and Trump can try to overturn,” Jan Hasselman, an attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said to The Guardian. “But overturning it would be subject to close scrutiny by a reviewing court, and we will be watching the new administration closely.”
Under A Trump Presidency The Project Is Certain To Continue
Under President Trump the Dakota Access Pipeline project is destined to continue. Harold Hamm, Trump's energy adviser, is CEO of Continental Resources which will be relying on the pipeline for the oil they obtain through fracking that will need to be transported. Additionally, Trump's investment portfolio includes up to a million in Dakota Access Pipeline stock and an additional $250,000 in Phillips 66 which owns a fourth of the Dakota Access Pipeline's stock.
"Today, Mr. Trump expressed his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has met or exceeded all environmental standards set forth by four states and the Army Corps of Engineers," Republican North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said in a statement on December 1st.
The last time the Obama administration announced an injunction and placed a voluntary halt on the project, the construction for the pipeline began speeding up and continued far into the night.