The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline in southern North Dakota, and will instead find another route, bringing nervous relief to the thousands of protectors that have been fighting to protect the clean water source.
Corps spokeswoman Moria Kelley stated in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the 3.8 billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction was put on hold.
Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said that the decision was based on the need to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing. The route has been the center of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands who have joined to support them.
The statement reads:
Army POC: Moira Kelley (703) 614-3992, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
But is it really over? Many are reluctant to say this is the end. “America…..This is not over. Rejoice and relax today. For tomorrow the movement continues. It may not be at Standing Rock. Look to Palm Oil, Look to the oil pipe lines around the world. Our work is not done…Yet,” Sandi Anderson, a #NODAPL advocate told heavy.
“I sit here with foggy eyes and leaks running down my face to know that the access had been DENIED to go under the River is Awesome, Johnny Littlewolf exclaimed. “However I will not fully believe it until the drill is taken away and the roads are opened back up.”
“What a wonderful day it was today,” Bucky Harjo said. “We’ll continue on. We need to turn to greener energy. We’ll stop every pipeline they try to put in the ground. No more oil. We shouldn’t be dependent upon that. We’re in the 21st century now and we have technology.” Take a look at the videos above as water protector Bucky Harjo explains his thoughts.