US Army blocks Dakota Access Pipeline in major victory for protestors

December 5, 2016 by  
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The Dakota Access Pipeline protesters just celebrated a major victory as the Army Corps announced it will deny a permit for a key section of the 1,172 mile Dakota Access Pipeline. The controversial pipeline was supposed to be placed under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, only half a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation – a move that protesters argued could easily poison the reservation’s water supply if the pipe burst. The Army Corps is now planning to look for an alternate route for the pipeline with a less significant environmental impact. Over the past several months, thousands of protesters gathered to support the Standing Rock tribe in their fight against the pipeline. Today, the self-styled “water protectors” are celebrating their victory – but they also warn that there is still more work to be done. The Army Corps’ decision doesn’t mark an end to the pipeline, simply a change in plans. It’s possible the new proposed route will also be problematic, and there are plenty of environmental activists who don’t consider further construction of the project to be a victory, no matter how it’s routed. Related: The Keystone XL Pipeline could be resurrected under Trump’s administration Tribal leaders have also expressed concern that the victory may be short-lived: Donald Trump’s administration may seek to overturn the decision once he takes office in January. He’s already spoken out in favor of the pipeline after the developers donated over $100,000 to his presidential campaign. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise—Trump’s also promised to help push through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline , which Obama vetoed a year ago. If Trump does decide to try to override the decision, he’ll have an uphill battle ahead of him. While the Army Corps’ announcement effectively shuts down the final leg of construction on the pipeline , it’s not an outright denial that could be overturned with a simple executive decision. The denial of the permit has set in motion an entire environmental impact assessment, which will likely take some time to complete. Attorneys for environmentalist groups like Earthjustice are already prepared to meet Trump in court should he challenge the decision. Related: American veterans arrive at Standing Rock to defend Dakota Access Pipeline protesters In the meantime, the Standing Rock protesters have issued a statement calling for a permanent stop to the construction, and for criminal charges to be dropped against members of the group who have been arrested for civil disobedience over the past nine months. So far, a staggering 550 protesters have been arrested and charged. Energy Transfer Partners, the developer, intends to continue pushing for a permit to complete construction without rerouting. Via Huffington Post Images via Medea Benjamin and sabreigha

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US Army blocks Dakota Access Pipeline in major victory for protestors

US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

November 15, 2016 by  
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Standing Rock Sioux members and their supporters protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline just got a piece of good news. Yesterday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement on the pipeline saying before they’re willing to grant an easement to Energy Transfer Partners , they want to hold more discussions with the tribe. They said that during these conversations, pipeline construction near Lake Oahe on Corps land will halt. The Army said it has finished its review begun September 9, 2016, and has determined “additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands” and because of how important Lake Oahe is to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe . Related: President Obama says Army is exploring rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline The Army’s statement doesn’t completely stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rather, the goal of the discussions they mention is to talk about easement conditions to lower the risk of ruptures or spills along the oil pipeline and expedite response to such disasters “or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies.” In a statement in response to the Army letter, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II said, “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country…Not all our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.” The Army made it clear they have not yet decided whether or not they will grant Energy Transfer Partners an easement, which the company needs to construct the part of the pipeline that goes underneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. While discussions are held, “construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur.” Via NBC News Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr and Takver on Flickr

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US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

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