The Dakota Access Pipeline, a controversial project that has been stalled due to mounting opposition from the local Standing Rock Sioux tribe and protestors, who argued that the pipeline would destroy the native tribe’s land and damage the group’s water supply. The Secretary of Army Corps of Engineers stated Sunday afternoon that the currently proposed 1,172-mile long route for the Dakota Access Pipeline will be denied, and the team will look into alternate routes for the pipeline crossing. The federal government has ordered people and protestors to leave the site by Monday.
The Army Corps of Engineers have noted that they plan to release a detailed Environmental Impact Statement with input and analysis from the public. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II was pleased and welcomed the Engineers’ decision, but was also cautious of a Trump presidency’s decision on the matter, asking that the Trump administration “respect this decision and understand the complex process that led us to this point.”
The decision to deny construction is a victory for the groups that have protested its proposed path for months, as well as the Standing Rock tribe itself.
The Obama administration had previously requested that the construction company behind the pipeline – Energy Transfer Partner – voluntarily cease construction. This request was seemingly ignored, as the company went on to install hyper-beam lights on site.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a statement regarding the Department of Justice, saying they remain “committed to supporting local law enforcement, defending protestors’ constitutional right to free speech and fostering thoughtful dialogue on the matter. We recognize the strong feelings that exist in connection with this issue, but it is imperative that all parties express their views peacefully and join us in support of a deliberate and reasonable process for de-escalation and healing.”
Other groups, like the National Congress of American Indians, have released statements expressing their contentment with the decision. Many public figures spoke out against the pipeline, as well as former presidential candidate Jill Stein – the most outward dissenting politician in regards to this pipeline – who vandalized on-site equipment in order to protest the pipeline’s construction early September.
This post was written by Nicholas Amato.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.