Army Corps Clears Way for DAPL Construction*
The previously denied easement was granted just weeks after President Donald Trump’s executive order reviving the pipeline.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted Tuesday the final easement needed to finish the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, according to a court filing seen by Reuters.
The pipeline had been delayed for several months after protests from Native American tribes and climate activists. The US$3.8 billion line, which is being built by Energy Transfer Partners, needed a final permit to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that is part of the Missouri River.
President Donald Trump, days after being sworn in, issued an executive order directing the Army Corps to smooth the path to finishing the line. Tuesday’s filing was made in U.S. Federal District Court in Washington, D.C.
In December, under the watch of former President Barack Obama, the Army Corps had previously stated they would undertake a further environmental review of the project.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is adjacent to the line’s route, said last week they will fight the decision arguing that the Army Corps cannot circumvent a scheduled environmental impact study that was ordered in January.
The tribe along with thousands of water protectors had fought the line for months attracting national and international solidarity, fearing contamination of the local drinking water source and damage to sacred sites on Indigenous land.
Their protests, along with those of climate activists, resulted in the Obama administration’s decision to delay a final permit that would allow construction under the Missouri River.