Dakota Access company files motion to halt environmental study

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By Liz Hampton | HOUSTON

HOUSTON Energy Transfer Partners has
filed a motion to bar the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from
initiating an environmental study for its controversial Dakota
Access pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

Energy Transfer Partners requested on Monday that a U.S.
District Court judge for the District of Columbia stop the Corps
from initiating the environmental impact statement process until
a ruling has been made on whether the company already has
necessary approvals for the pipeline crossing.

The Corps said it would publish a notice in the Federal
Register on Wednesday stating its intent to prepare an
environmental impact statement for the requested easement at
Lake Oahe. The notice will invite interested parties to comment
on potential issues and concerns, as well as alternatives to the
proposed route, which should be considered in the study.

The Corps in December denied Energy Transfer Partners an
easement to drill under Lake Oahe, a water source upstream from
the Standing Rock Sioux reservation that has been the focus of
protests. Members from the Standing Rock Sioux and others say
the line could damage drinking water and desecrate sacred
grounds.

In July 2015, the Corps had granted Energy Transfer Partners
permission for its proposed pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe.

A representative from Energy Transfer Partners did not
immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment.

The 1,172-mile (1.885 km) Dakota Access Pipeline will
transport 570,000 barrels per day of crude from the Bakken shale
of North Dakota to the Midwest.

The Standing Rock Sioux said the tribe was confident the
environmental impact statement would support its claim that the
pipeline cannot cross under the lake, adding that the best way
to analyze new routes is through an environmental impact
statement.

Comments on the scope of the environmental impact statement
will be due no later than Feb. 20, the Army Corp said.



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