UPDATED: Statement Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline from Army Corps of Engineers
Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.
The Army invites the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to engage in discussion regarding potential conditions on an easement for the pipeline crossing that would reduce the risk of a spill or rupture, hasten detection and response to any possible spill, or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies. The Army invites discussion of the risk of a spill in light of such conditions, and whether to grant an easement for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe at the proposed location. The Army continues to welcome any input that the Tribe believes is relevant to the proposed pipeline crossing or the granting of an easement.
While these discussions are ongoing, construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur because the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant an easement. The Army will work with the Tribe on a timeline that allows for robust discussion and analysis to be completed expeditiously.
We fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely, and urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement that it will further delay issuing a final easement that would allow construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to be completed:
“The Corps today announced it will further delay issuing an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. That will only prolong the disruption in the region caused by protests and make life difficult for everyone who lives and works in the area.
“U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled in September that the Corps has done its due diligence, and he allowed the project to proceed. Furthermore, the pipeline is sited in an existing right-of-way that already includes a natural gas pipeline and a high-voltage transmission line. The route has been altered 141 times to address sites of archaeological significance.
“The solution now is for the Corps to grant an easement for the project so that life can return to normal for our farmers, ranchers, tribal members and law enforcement officers, who have worked very hard to protect the lives and property of all. Further, I will continue to call on the Obama administration to provide federal resources and funding to help ensure public safety.”
The senator has been working to support state and local law enforcement efforts, which include bringing in additional law enforcement resources through EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, so that people living in the region feel safe and private property rights are protected. Hoeven and the congressional delegation have also been working to bring federal resources to assist local law enforcement in their efforts to keep the peace and deal with the protests.