Army Corps of Engineers to grant final Dakota Access Pipeline permit

Posted February 08, 2017

The pipeline is now about 85 percent finished, save for a section that would pass under Lake Oahe on the Missouri River - a reservoir that serves as the main source of drinking water for the nearby Standing Rock Reservation.

"As stewards of the public lands and natural resources, we have a responsibility to the public to prevent injuries and loss of life", U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District Commander, Col. John Henderson, said in a statement.

The status of the the pipeline has been in limbo for months, though construction on the North Dakota-to-Illinois route by Energy Transfer Partners is almost complete.

But on Jan.24, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders relating to energy and infrastructure in a push to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline and revive the Keystone XL pipeline.

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The site is about a half-mile from the Standing Rock Reservation.

The same day, the Army, the Department of Justice and the Interior Department declare that construction bordering or under Lake Oahe won't go forward pending further review.

Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, suggested it would continue to stop work on the pipeline through the courts.

December 4 - Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy declines to allow the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe in part because she says alternate routes need to be considered.

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That said, it's not clear if construction can begin while the decision is being challenged - or whether the court might issue an injunction.

"The discord we have seen regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline doesn't serve the tribe, the company, the Corps or any of the other stakeholders involved". The $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. "They will be accountable in court".

The notice comes after Donald Trump formally backed the project in one of his first acts as USA president.

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