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U.S. Army To Approve Final Easement For Dakota Access Pipeline Completion

February 07, 2017

The U.S. Army said in a court filing that it has notified Congress that it intends to grant the easement of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Army Corps of Engineers said that it would stop its plans to prepare an environmental impact statement.

In December, the Corps said that it would deny the easement Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners needs to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. The line has been delayed for several months after protests broke out over the project.

Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers was ordered to approve the final steps needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to two North Dakota GOP lawmakers.

Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer “has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Sen. John Hoeven said in a statement last week.

The crossing under Lake Oahe, a section of the Missouri River in southern North Dakota, is the final piece of work that needs to be completed to fully construct the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline that runs through four states. That portion is roughly half a mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation.

The Dakota Access Pipeline has been a controversial project for the past several months as protests have been held to stop the construction of the pipeline. The tribe contests that the pipeline could contaminate the drinking water for them and the supply for millions of other people downstream.

In January, President Donald Trump issued an executive order advancing approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. On January 24, Trump called the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider their decision in December to withhold permission until more study is done on the crossing.

The Standing Rock Sioux have vowed to contest any granting of the easement in court and to sue if the Corps suspends the environmental review.