Published: Wed, February 08, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

Sanitation Crews Search for Dead Bodies Amid Piles of Pipeline Protester Trash

Sanitation Crews Search for Dead Bodies Amid Piles of Pipeline Protester Trash

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday said it has notified Congress that it plans to grant Energy Transfer Partners the final easement to build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The approval had been held up for months amid objections from the Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation abuts the lake. In December, the US Army Corps of Engineers chose to halt final-stage construction of the pipeline because of environmental concerns.

The status of the the pipeline has been in limbo for months, though construction on the North Dakota-to-Illinois route by Energy Transfer Partners is almost complete.

In a January 31 statement, the tribe said it would "vigorously pursue legal action to ensure the environmental impact statement order issued late past year is followed so the pipeline process is legal, fair and accurate".

The Army has notified Congress that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, completing the four-state project to move North Dakota oil to IL.

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An attorney for the Department of Justice says the Army Corp could reach a decision as early as this week. Police said about 400 protesters attempted to breach the bridge, which was blocked since late October, near the site of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Dakota Access said it can have oil flowing under Lake Oahe within 60 days of receiving the easement and start commercial operations within 83 days.

"The Obama administration correctly found that the tribe's treaty rights must be respected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations".

He said it is unclear whether construction could begin while the decision is challenged or whether the court will grant an injunction blocking the work.

The Dakota Access Project is operated by Energy Transfer Partners and will stretch 1,172 miles and will connect Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.

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