Army will not grant easement for Dakota Access Pipeline crossing
By U.S. Army
December 4, 2016
The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.
Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
Federal Officials to Explore Different Route for Dakota Pipeline
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
DEC. 4, 2016
Federal officials announced on Sunday that they would not approve permits for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a dammed section of the Missouri River that tribes say sits near sacred burial sites.
The decision is a victory for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of protesters camped near the construction site who have opposed the project because they said would it threaten a water source and cultural sites. Federal officials had given the protesters until tomorrowto leave a campsite near the construction site.
In a statement on Sunday, the Department of the Army’s assistant secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, said that the decision was based on a need to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Ms. Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement
Posted on December 4, 2016
“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.
We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and when your people are in need.”
Standing Rock Protestors Celebrate as Dakota Pipeline Easement Denied: Army Corps of Engineers recommends pipeline “explore alternate routes,” denies construction permits
By Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone
December 4, 2016
In a decision celebrated by the thousands of protestors gathered at the Standing Rock site, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that they would not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and would instead “explore alternate routes.”
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works Darcy said Sunday. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The announcement was celebrated by those gathered at the protest sites, including 2,000 U.S. military veterans that joined the protests on December 2nd to protect them from the authorities; in recent weeks, altercations between protestors and law enforcement have escalated.
The Victory at Standing Rock Could Mark a Turning Point
by Bill McKibben, the Guardian
December 4, 2016
The defeat of an energy company by indigenous activists shows what nonviolent unity can accomplish. There are lessons here as we enter a challenging new age. For five hundred years, half a millennia, the same grim story has repeated itself over and over again. Today’s news is a break in that long-running story, a new chapter.
DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE VICTORY!
by the ECHO Action Team
Today the Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement on Standing Rock Reservation for use by Energy Transfer Partners/Dakota Access Pipeline. They will now have to re-route the pipeline.
January 1st, 2017 is the deadline for completion of the project, when oil must be flowing through the pipeline. If DAPL does not meet the deadline, their contract is subject to renegotiation. Since the Bakken is already sending out oil at capacity, and production is down (drying up), it’s unlikely that this contract would be continued.
While the thousands and thousands of people at Standing Rock will be dancing, singing, chanting and celebrating through the night, this fight is not yet over. They must make sure the re-route does not impact their water.
This is an enormous victory for our movement to protect the water! It shows what is possible when we come together and take action.
However, many questions remain.
Here are the 10 questions we need to be asking in the days and weeks ahead:
1. Will the Army Corps actually conduct an Environmental Impact Statement? If so, on what portion of the project – just the river crossing, or the whole pipeline?
2. What issues will the EIS take into account? (for example, will it include an analysis of spill risk? how about sacred sites? will it reassess the economic need for the pipeline now that the Bakken is busting?)
3. Which alternative routes will be considered? Will a “no-build” option also be considered?
4. How long will the EIS take?
5. What input will the tribe have? What will the public participation process look like?
6. In what way(s) was the original Environmental Assessment prepared by the Army Corps deemed inadequate?
7. What was the result of the tribal consultation process exploring possible changes to the regulatory process for pipelines in general? have any changes been proposed?
8. How easily will these decisions be reversed by a Trump administration?
9. How will these decisions be affected by the outcomes of DAPL’s lawsuit against the Army Corps, scheduled to be heard on Friday?
10. Is the US government prepared to use force to stop the company from drilling under the river without a permit, if necessary.