The Army Corps of Engineers will not approve an easement allowing the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. They released their decision Sunday.
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 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 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 the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.
Energy Tranfer Partners, the company building the pipeline released a statement Sunday saying:
For more than three years now, Dakota Access Pipeline has done nothing but play by the rules. The Army Corps of Engineers agrees, and has said so publicly and in federal court filings. The Corps’ review process and its decisions have been ratified by two federal courts. The Army Corps confirmed this again today when it stated its “policy decision” does “not alter the Army’s position that the Corps’ prior reviews and actions have comported with legal requirements.”
See their full statement here.