Sep 15, 2016

Construction on Dakota Access Pipeline Temporarily Stops

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to protest pipeline

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In North Dakota, work has stopped on one section of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opposes the pipeline because the route crosses sacred sites and burial places. It also is concerned that if the pipeline ruptures, it could pollute local drinking water.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would transport about 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day from western North Dakota to central Illinois. The company Energy Transfer Partners thought it had adequate approval to build the 1,172-mile-long, $3.78 billion pipeline.

The tribe continues to set up protest camps near the construction site, and, on Sept. 8, more than 10 protestors locked themselves to the Dakota Access bulldozers to prevent construction.  

On Sept. 9, a federal judge rejected a request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction. Then, the Obama administration stopped construction on federal land. In a statement, the administration also asked the company to voluntarily stop construction within 20 miles of the section on federal land.

The tribe claims the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should have more thoroughly consulted with tribal leaders before approving construction. Now the Corps will determine whether it should reconsider any of the conclusions the agency made that led to approving the pipeline.

Image: Native American protesters march from an encampment to a nearby construction site. (Andrew Cullen)

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