U.S. takes steps to review Dakota Access pipeline

1 Legal

1 Legal is a Division of 1 Media

1 Legal - 1 Lawyers - 1 Attorneys

 
Need Legal Clients  - Need a Lawyer
 
 

By Valerie Volcovici

<span class="articleLocation”>The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on
Wednesday it has taken initial steps to review requests to
approve the final permit to finish the Dakota Access pipeline,
the focus of protests for months.

The move does not mean the government has granted right of
way for the pipeline to build its last remaining stretch under
the Missouri River near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, according to
the Army Corps of Engineers. On Tuesday, two U.S. lawmakers from
North Dakota said they had been told by Army officials that the
project would be completed.

Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Dakota Access pipeline
stretches for 1,170 miles (1,885 km) from North Dakota’s
oil-producing Bakken region to Patoka, Illinois.

A coalition of Native American groups and environmentalists
have argued that the $3.8 billion oil project would damage
sacred lands and that any leaks could pollute the water supply
of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Proponents believe the project
is necessary to transport U.S. oil safely and that it would
create jobs.

The proposed stretch of pipeline at issue runs adjacent to
the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in southern North Dakota.

“The Assistant Secretary for the Army Civil Works will make
a decision on the pipeline once a full review and analysis is
completed in accordance with the directive,” the Corps said in a
statement.

The tribe had successfully won delays from the Obama
administration for further environmental review,
but last week President Donald Trump signed an executive order
telling the Corps of Engineers to expedite review of the
project.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II last week
said he has requested a meeting with Trump, but has not received
a response.

U.S. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota said in a statement
on Tuesday that Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer had
told him and Vice President Mike Pence that Speer directed the
Corps to proceed with the easement. U.S. Representative Kevin
Cramer also said he had been informed of the directive.

However, the Army’s statement on Wednesday said that the
steps for review “do not mean the easement has been approved.”

Several groups opposing the project, including the Standing
Rock Sioux, said they would fight the granting of an easement in
court. They said on Tuesday that Hoeven and Cramer were jumping
the gun, and that an environmental study under way must be
completed before the permit can be granted.

A spokesman for Hoeven, Don Canton, said Speer told the
senator that the Army Corps was doing its due diligence in
acting on Trump’s memo from last week, and that Hoeven had not
discussed the environmental study with the Corps.

Standing Rock representatives were not immediately available
for comment on Wednesday.

In a statement posted on their website, the Sacred Stone
camp asked protesters – who had recently cleared out – to return
to their encampment so that they could stage another
demonstration. That camp is located on Sioux land in Sioux
County; it is not the site of the bulk of protests, which are in
Morton County on federal land.

The main protest camp, known as Oceti Sakowin, had been the
staging ground for numerous protests, some of which led to
violent clashes between law enforcement and activists. The camp
is in the process of being broken down, because it is located on
a flood plain, and when it floods, any remaining structures
could foul the Missouri River, the water source for the Standing
Rock tribe.

(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Ernest
Scheyder in Houston)



1 Lawyers
1 Lawyers

1 Legal

#1 Lawyers Search Engine

1 Legal is part of the 1 Search Project

Practice Areas - News - Federal - State - Contact Us


1 Legal

1 Legal is a Division of 1 Media

1 Legal - 1 Lawyers - 1 Attorneys

 
Need Legal Clients  - Need a Lawyer