The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arguing that the pipeline technology used by Energy Transfer Partners for the Dakota Access Pipeline cannot detect large, dangerous leaks.
The 313-page report argues that the current remote-detection technology being used to monitor the pipeline cannot detect leaks that are less than two percent of the full pipeline flow rate. At an assumed full rate of 600,000 barrels of oil per day, a possible undetected leak could amount to as much as 12,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the report.
Although the 1,170-mile Dakota Access Pipeline has been in operation since June of last year, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's fight against the project has not ended since it began protesting the line in 2016.
The tribe wrote in its report that the worst-case scenarios envisioned by Energy Transfer Partners still do not cover the possibilities of things like human error or equipment malfunction.
It is unlikely that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will revoke permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline, but the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe could use its report to sue the government.