The US Army Corps of Engineers has denied Energy Transfer Partners LP a permit for the constriction of a section of the US$3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. It will not grant an easement for the project.
"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,” the Corps’ assistant secretary for civil works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, said in a statement on 4 December.
"The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing," Darcy added.
Protestors, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, have been protesting against the 1172 mile Dakota Access pipeline for months. Therefore, this decision comes as a victory for the thousands of protesters (Native Americans, environmentalists and other groups) that are camped near the construction site. According to NBC News, huge celebrations took place at the main protest camp in Cannon Ball after the news was revealed.
The protests have resulted in hundreds of arrests and drawn support from several celebrities.
Standing Rock Sioux’s Chairman, Dave Archambault II, spoke to NBC News stating that he was "thankful that there were some leaders in the federal government that realised that something is not right even though it's legal."
Construction of the pipeline is almost complete, with the exception of a segment that is planned to run under Lake Oahe. In order to finalise construction, Energy Transfer Partners required the easement from federal authorities.
Energy Transfer Partners has responded, stating that the decision is "a purely political action." It added that it is committed to bringing the project to completion.
Moreover, while this is a victory for the protesters, it may be short-lived. President-elect Donald Trump supports the project and policy experts believe that he could reverse the decision if he chose to.
The government has ordered people to leave the main encampment, which is on Army Corps of Engineers' land, by 5 December due to temperature concerns. However, demonstrators are prepared to stay and authorities say they will not forcibly remove them.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/05122016/dakota-access-pipeline-permit-rejected/