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Dakota Access Pipeline Easement Approved by Army

Image: Dakota Access Pipeline Easement Approved by Army

In this Nov. 3, 2015, photo, the Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline is to connect to, is seen in Steele City, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Feb 2017 10:47 AM

The Dakota Access Pipeline will move forward to its final phase as the Army moved to grant the easement under Lake Oahe, a section of the Missouri River in North Dakota.

The construction of that section of the pipeline had been slowed by the outgoing Obama administration, but President Donald Trump last month signed an executive action to advance the approval of the pipeline, CNN noted.

"The decision was made based on a sufficient amount of information already available which supported approval to grant the easement request," the Army said, according to CNN. Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer called granting the easement a "final step" in meeting the tasks of Trump's executive action, stated CNN.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Paul Cramer wrote in a letter to Congress that his agency would "waive its policy to wait 14 days after Congressional notification before granting an easement," National Public Radio reported. Cramer said the easement could be granted as soon as Wednesday, allowing Energy Transfer Partners to begin construction.

In December, the Army announced in a statement that it would not approve the easement on a need to explore alternative routes for the pipeline. At the time, Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary of the Army, called for an environmental impact statement on the last phase.

The Standing Rock Sioux had charged that the pipeline could affect the area's drinking water they depend on along with the 17 million people living downstream, CNN said.

"The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk," Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, said in a statement released Tuesday. "We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration.

"Americans have come together in support of the Tribe asking for a fair, balanced and lawful pipeline process. The environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated. This pipeline was unfairly rerouted across our treaty lands," he continued.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, and then a federal appeals court, though, had declined to grant the Standing Rock Sioux's request for an order to stop the project, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Jan Hasselman, the lead attorney for Sioux, told the courts that because the Army Corps had already committed to an environmental impact review of the lake crossing, any easement granted before that analysis is complete "would be unlawful," the Tribune wrote.

Hasselman said, according to the newspaper, that the tribe will likely file another bid to halt the project, citing environmental impact concerns.

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The Dakota Access Pipeline will move forward to its final phase as the Army moved to grant the easement under Lake Oahe, a section of the Missouri River in North Dakota.
dakota access pipeline, easement, approved, army
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2017-47-08
Wednesday, 08 Feb 2017 10:47 AM
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