Standing Rock Victory against Pipeline
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.
Source: U. S. Army
STANDING ROCK —
Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not be granting an easement under Lake Oahe for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross the Missouri River a half mile upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. The Corps further stated that it plans to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for alternative routes. These actions trigger a new round of public involvement processes to permit the final piece of the pipeline as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The decision is major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all who stood in solidarity over the last few months.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, represented by Earthjustice, brought a lawsuit against the Corps for its approvals for the pipeline in July of this year. The lawsuit claimed that the Corps violated multiple environmental and historic preservation statutes, focusing on the decision to reroute the pipeline from Bismarck, North Dakota to the doorstep of the Standing Rock reservation without and adequate environmental analysis and consultation. At various times, pipeline construction has been subject to court injunctions due to the litigation.
The Corps granted permits for the pipeline in July 2016 under a highly streamlined approval process known as Nationwide Permitting. The process circumvents any kind of close environmental review and public process. The Lake Oahe crossing requires an additional approval — known as an easement — because it crosses federally owned land on either side of the Missouri River. It was this easement that the government confirmed would not be granted.
The Obama administration has denied a final approval for the Dakota Access pipeline.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it would not issue an easement for the oil project to cross Lake Oahe, a dammed section of the Missouri River. Instead, the agency will undertake additional National Environmental Policy Act analysis to consider potential impacts and alternative routes.
Source: EE News
The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would have allowed the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.
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. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.
Photo: Teko Alejo, Native American Rights Fund email
Dakota Access Pipeline (Wiki)
The Dakota Access Pipeline protests are grassroots movements that began in the spring of 2016 in reaction to the approved construction of Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access Pipeline. The approved pipeline would run from the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota to southern Illinois, crossing beneath the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, as well as part of Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. In April, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Standing Rock Sioux elder, established a camp as a center for cultural preservation and spiritual resistance to the pipeline. Over the summer the camp grew to thousands of people.
On September 3, construction workers bulldozed a section of land the tribe had identified as sacred ground in an amendment to the federal injunction a day earlier. When protesters entered the area, security workers used attack dogs, which bit at least six of the protesters. The incident was filmed and viewed by several million people on YouTube and other social media.
In late November, the weather worsened, with snowfall and temperatures dropping well below freezing. Police use of water cannons on protesters shortly before the holiday drew significant media attention. Officials claimed that the water was used to put out fires, purportedly started by protesters, and to move people off the bridge leading to the barricade to keep them out of danger. This was proven false with the release of camera footage captured by journalist Jordan Chariton clearly showing that there were no fires on the bridge and that the water cannons were used directly against protesters, for the sole purpose of pushing them away from the barricade.
By November 29, a number of federal officials took an interest in the protest, with some calling on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the law enforcement tactics against protesters, and one (Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii) planning to join protesters a day ahead of a scheduled "eviction" of protesters from the site.
Top Photo: PHILLIP ELLIS / EARTHJUSTICE
Last edit 5Dec2016