On Feb. 8, the Army Corps of Engineers granted the final easement the Energy Transfers Partners needed to continue construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL).
The pipeline’s approvals came when President Trump signed an executive order stating that “the acting secretary of the Army to expeditiously review requests for approvals to construct and operate the Dakota Access Pipeline in compliance with the law.” This order reverses the Obama administration’s halt of construction only months ago.
According to the New York Times, “The move will allow for the completion of the last mile and a half of the 1,172-mile project, connecting oil production areas in North Dakota to a crude oil terminal near Patoka, Ill. The pipeline is owned by Energy Transfer Partners. Construction of the route has become a global rallying point for environmental and tribal activism, drawing thousands of people to a sprawling protest camp and sometimes prompting clashes with authorities.”
In response to the easement, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed their first legal challenge to block the DAPL from crossing under the Missouri River reservoir, only hours after the DAPL had been green lighted. The tribe makes the argument that a 1851 treaty that the land is designated solely for Native American tribes, in response to the Army Corps saying the area is federally owned land. The tribe sued later last year, in July, to block the DAPL. That lawsuit is still pending, and the company behind the pipeline argued in court papers that they followed a standard review process.
If completed, the DAPL will carry 470,000 barrels of oil a day.