January 19, 2017 Read More →

More Delays for Dakota Access Pipeline

From the Associated Press:

A federal judge said Wednesday he won’t keep the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from launching a full environmental study of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline’s disputed crossing under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg denied Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ request to stop the Corps from proceeding until he rules on whether the company already has the necessary permission to lay pipe under Lake Oahe, the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The Army published a notice Wednesday of its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement on the Lake Oahe crossing. ETP won’t be able to lay pipe under the reservoir while the study is ongoing; it is currently blocked from doing so anyway.

A study could take up to two years, but the study notice can be withdrawn if Boasberg were to eventually rule that ETP has permission for the crossing, Army attorneys said. The notice says public comments will be accepted until Feb. 20 on “potential issues, concerns and reasonable alternatives” that should be considered in a study.

The stretch under Lake Oahe is the last big chunk of construction for the 1,200-mile pipeline. ETP has said in court documents there is already oil in a portion of the pipeline leading up to the lake in anticipation of finishing the project. But the Corps wants to look at alternate routes, the potential for a pipeline leak and tribal treaty rights in the wake of opposition by Standing Rock.

The Standing Rock Sioux and its supporters believe the four-state pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites. The tribe issued a statement Wednesday saying the study is “yet another small victory on the path to justice.”

Full article: Federal study on Dakota Access pipeline to move forward

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