Obama Orders Army Corps To Block DAPL Access

Obama orders the Army Corps to investigate alternative routes and conduct an environmental study for completion of the North Dakota Pipeline.

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Today, the Obama administration announced that it will not grant the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Sierra Club just revealed in a press release.

Instead, the Army Corps of Engineers will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to examine the impacts of the planned pipeline and explore alternate routes for the project. The Corps will continue speaking with the Standing Rock Sioux and those who would be affected by its construction.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“The Sierra Club applauds and thanks the Obama administration for listening to the Standing Rock Sioux, the Water Protectors, and the millions of Americans across the country who have opposed this dangerous pipeline.“The fight to reject the Dakota Access Pipeline is not over, but the administration’s announcement today ensures Energy Transfer cannot continue its assault on the Standing Rock Sioux’s home, history, and heritage.

“History has taught us that it is never a question whether a pipeline will spill, but rather a question of when. A comprehensive environmental review will show that this dirty and dangerous project will threaten the safety of every community it cuts through.

“The Sierra Club stands in unity with the Standing Rock Sioux, and we are ready to continue the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

The U.S. army has confirmed the announcement.

Army will not grant easement for Dakota Access Pipeline crossing

Army POC: Moira Kelley (703) 614-3992, moira.l.kelley.civ@mail.mil

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.

From Timothy Cama via Twitter

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In response to the news the Standing Rock Sioux issued the following statement.

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