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ETP seeks to block DAPL environmental study

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World Pipelines,

According to Reuters, the Associated Press, KCRG-TV9 and BOE Report, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) – the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) – has filed a motion to block the US Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to halt construction and undergo an environmental impact study (EIS) at the controversial DAPL crossing at Lake Oahe.

In July 2015, the Corps granted permission for the pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe. However, following extensive protest, its approval was overturned in December by Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy.

Under the EIS, The Corps seeks to consider alternative pipeline routes, the likelihood of a leak and the tribal treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who believe that the current proposed crossing could contaminate the tribe's drinking water and negatively impact their cultural heritage.

According to Reuters: “the Corps said it would publish a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday stating its intent to prepare an EIS for the requested easement at Lake Oahe.”

ETP has, however, requested that US District Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia blocks the Corps “from publishing a notice in the Federal Register announcing the study (EIS),” as the Associated Press has reported.

The company wants to block the initiation of the Corps’ environmental impact statement process until it is ruled whether the company already has the necessary approvals for laying pipe under Lake Oahe – which is the final section of 1200 mile DAPL to be constructed.

The reason that ETP is giving for its request is that it wants to halt further study so that the decision regarding the permits will be “free from the risk that its ruling will be frustrated or thwarted by new governmental actions.”

While the Associated Press reports that the DAPL permitting decision is likely to be weeks away, as reported by BOE Report, the Department of Energy believes that the Corps’ EIS could take up to two years to complete.

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