Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Files Report, Says Dakota Access Pipeline Unsafe

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.

Source:
MSN

Tribes Want DAPL Stopped but Offer Alternative Plan

American Indian tribes that stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline are asking a judge to shut down the line while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts additional environmental review, but the tribes have an alternative plan if the judge disagrees.

Standing Rock Sioux attorney Jan Hasselmen said Monday the tribe wants increased public reporting of pipeline issues, such as repairs, and the implementation of a spill response plan at the Lake Oahe reservoir, which is where the tribe draws its water.

Hasselmen claims the Corps nor DAPL has communicated with the tribes about spill response planning.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in June ruled that the Army Corps, although it complied with environmental law when permitting the Dakota Access Pipeline, did not adequately consider how an oil spill under Lake Oahe may affect the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The Corps is therefore conducting additional environmental review on certain areas of the line, and Boasberg is deciding whether to shut down the line while that work is done.

The approximately 1,200-mile, $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline transfers oil from western North Dakota to a distribution point in Illinois and then onto the Gulf of Mexico.

Source:
PennEnergy

Additional Review of Dakota Access Pipeline to Take Rest of Year, Says Army Corps

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates it will need the rest of the year to conduct additional environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which went into operation June 1.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg last month ordered the Army Corps to do more study on the already-operating pipeline to assess its potential impact on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The Army Corps, pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners, and other energy trade groups are asking to keep the line in operation during the review process.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe wants the pipeline shut down in the meantime, saying its halt is warranted.

Energy Transfer Partners says shutting down the line would negatively affect oil producers and refiners, workers, customers, consumers, and government tax revenue.

Judge Boasberg is hearing arguments on whether the line should be shut down.

Source:
PennEnergy

Judge to Decide Later This Year Whether to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

A federal judge will decide later this year whether to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline while the Army Corps conducts a more thorough environmental review on the route.

Both sides in a lawsuit over the pipeline will submit written arguments on the matter in July and August, and the parties will expect a decision from the U.S. District Judge James Boasberg most likely in September.

The parties involve the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Standing Rock filed a lawsuit last summer arguing that the pipeline threatens cultural sites and water supply.

Judge Boasberg ruled last week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately consider how an oil spill could affect the tribe when it permitted the pipeline earlier this year. He ordered that the agency reconsider parts of its environmental review.

Source:
ABC News

Dakota Access Pipeline in Full Operation After Significant Delays

The Dakota Access Pipeline is now fully operational as of Thursday, after months of delay due to protests by Native American tribes and environmental groups.

The 1,172-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline developed by Energy Transfer Partners was scheduled for service by late last year, but protests led to delays in permitting the last section of the line under the Missouri River in North Dakota.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe still vows to stop the line despite its full operation, saying a possible leak could contaminate water supply and sacred lands.

A lawsuit from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is still pending in federal court as the tribe seeks to have the line shut down and given a more thorough environmental review.

Dakota Access Pipeline is expected to transport approximately 520,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois.

Source:
NPR

Dakota Access Pipeline Leaked 84 Gallons of Oil; Tribe Pushes for Further Environmental Review

The Dakota Access Pipeline leaked 84 gallons, categorized as "a small operational spill," in South Dakota last month, and a Native American tribe is saying the spill shows that the pipeline needs further environmental review.

The spill occurred at a rural pump station in northeast South Dakota and was quickly cleaned up. It did not affect any waterways or cause any environmental harm, according to Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist with the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The agency had posted a report on the spill in its website's searchable database but did not take further steps to announce the spill to the public because it only releases news on spills if there is a threat to public health, a fishery, or a drinking water system.

Walsh said the spill does not come as a surprise and that it was "pretty small relative to a lot of other things [the agency] works on."

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, however, was not as forgiving of the news. The tribe believes the spills will continue and that the pipeline is a threat to the tribes' water supply and cultural sites. The tribe also argues that the line needs further environmental review.

A spokesperson for pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners said the pipeline is safe and that the spill that occurred April 4 "stayed in the containment area as designed."

Energy Transfer Partner's Dakota Access Pipeline is expected to be fully operational by June 1.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Vow to Continue Fight Against Other Pipelines

Protestors against the Dakota Access Pipeline have vowed to continue their fight against pipelines despite having to evacuate from the main protest camp last week due to orders from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Although construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is nearly complete, protestors are not letting it defeat their efforts as many have said they will take what they have learned from the fight against Dakota Access and move on to fighting other pipelines in America and Canada.

"This has never been about just stopping that pipeline. It's waking people up," said June Sapiel, a member of the Penobscot Tribe in Maine who disagreed that the protest against Dakota Access Pipeline was a failure.

Other targets protestors are aiming to fight against include the expansion of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana, the Sabal Trail pipeline in Alabama, and the Trans-Pecos pipeline in Texas. Protestors are also fighting against Plains All American Pipeline's Diamond Pipeline in Oklahoma.

Closing the pipeline protest camp in North Dakota is not the end of the fight but just a new beginning, according to Tom Goldtooth, an executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Source:
Reuters

Dakota Pipeline Protestors Set Structures Ablaze Amid Camp Evacuation Deadline

Perhaps as a last act of defiance, some protestors remaining at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp set ablaze a few remaining structures on Wednesday, the last day protestors were given to evacuate the camp before authorities would force them to leave.

The protestors are calling it a "ceremonial act" as they set structures on fire on their last day to be at the camp before being potentially arrested for trespassing.

February 22 was the set deadline ordered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum for remaining few-hundred protestors to evacuate the federally-owned Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota, where thousands of protestors have camped over the last few months to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The evacuation was ordered as a way to protect the protestors from coming spring floods as well as an effort to prevent possible environmental damage that could result from eroded waste and debris left at the campsite.

Chase Iron Eyes, member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, said he expects protestors to stay put all the way until the 2 p.m. (GMT) deadline and subject themselves to arrests.

North Dakota officials set up a travel assistance center to help evacuate remaining protestors. Food, water, health check-ups, and one night's voucher to a nearby hotel are being accommodated to remaining protestors, as well as a bus ticket home.

According to court documents filed Tuesday, the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline will be ready for oil between March 6 and April 1.

Source:
Reuters
NBC News

Army Corps of Engineers Approves Dakota Access Pipeline Permit, Allowing for Completion of the Project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday granted an easement allowing for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through a reservoir of the Missouri River just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

The decision means the full environmental review process of the route, promised under the Obama administration, has been cut short along with the public comment period tied to it.

Paul Cramer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, wrote in a letter to Congress Tuesday that the Army would grant the easement as soon as Wednesday afternoon, immediately allowing for pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners to resume construction on the last 1.5-mile section.

Opponents of the pipeline, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, promised to fight should the easement be granted for construction under the Missouri River reservoir known as Lake Oahe.

The tribe issued a statement last month saying it would pursue legal action to ensure the environmental review is followed through in order to keep the pipeline process "legal, fair, and accurate."

"Expect mass resistance far beyond what Trump has seen so far," the director of the Indigenous Environmental Network wrote in a statement in response to the Army's decision to grant the easement.

The Army Corps' decision comes weeks after President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring the Army to expedite its review and approval process of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project that was halted and denied a permit in December under the Obama administration.

In anticipation to complete the project during the halt, Energy Transfer Partners already drilled entry and exit holes for the crossing under the lake, and oil has been put into the pipeline leading up to the incomplete construction.

Source:
NPR
CBS News

Sioux Tribe: "Rogue" Protestors Hurting Cause to Fight Dakota Access Pipeline

Since the predicted revival of the Dakota Access Pipeline, protests against the project have reignited around the country, but not all are aiding the cause of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe which has been standing strongly against the oil pipeline since the summer of 2016.

On Wednesday a "rogue" group of about 70 protesters was arrested near the main protest camp in North Dakota after the protestors attempted to create an illegal camp on private property, against the request of the tribe and other district leaders.

Officials requested several times that the group dismantle the camp and leave immediately, but the group showed no signs of these instructions. They were subsequently arrested by the Morton County Sheriff department.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said this defiant act by the "rogue" group has put their cause at risk.

Both the Sioux tribe and other environmentalists are prepared to fight in court should the easement be granted for Energy Transfer Partners to finish construction of the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe, which is a half-mile upstream from the tribe's reservation.

President Trump signed an executive order last week that calls for the Army Corps to expedite its environmental review and approval process of the pipeline.

Source:
CNN

 

 

 

 

Cleanup Underway at Dakota Access Protest Campsite, Signals Cooperation Among Clashes

September 16, 2016 - Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on federal land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota ( Native News Online )

September 16, 2016 - Dakota Access oil pipeline protest site on federal land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota (Native News Online)

Cleanup of a protest camp near construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota is underway, signaling cooperation between authorities and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who have clashed in recent months.

The groups made a decision to clean the polluted campsite on Sunday, agreeing that keeping the debris onsite could cause environmental disaster and risk to public safety should spring floods occur.

The campsite is located on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was once home to up to 10,000 protestors during the height of protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Since then the number of protestors remaining has dwindled to just a few hundred after a tribe leader encouraged people to go home when a permit to continue construction on the pipeline was denied in December.

Those in charge of cleaning the site, which consists of abandoned cars, structures, and waste, said their intention is not to destroy the camp but to prevent waste from contaminating water sources.

Few protestors remain at the camp and continue to fight a pipeline they believe would contaminate water supply and destroy sacred Native American sites. Protestors celebrated a victory in December when the Army Corps denied a permit needed to construct under the Missouri River, but their victory was short-lived after President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week to expedite the completion of the pipeline.

Source:
Reuters

 

Sioux Tribe Considers Creating Tribal Utilities Board to Review Infrastructure Project on its Lands

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe announced it is considering creating a tribal utilities commission that would review and govern energy infrastructure projects on its land.

According to the chairman of the tribe Dave Archambault II, the utilities board would have authority over all utilities infrastructure on its land and that it would not necessarily rule out all oil pipelines on the reservation despite the tribe's effort to block the Dakota Access pipeline.

If the tribe forms a utilities board, it would first write a regulatory code that would then be subject to tribal member comment for 30 days.

Archambault believes a utilities board could remedy what he claims are flaws in the federal and state law relating to consultation and tribal input on infrastructure projects.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

Energy Transfer Partners Files Lawsuit to Complete Pipeline without U.S. Corps' Final Approval

Energy Transfer Partners filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking for federal court intervention to complete its Dakota Access pipeline without the final easement approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the Corps announced Monday that more studies were warranted before considering approval.

The Corps reported Monday after reviewing the Dakota Access pipeline route that it needs more communication with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and more studies conducted on the route before granting Energy Transfer Partners an easement to drill underneath the Missouri River.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, said in a statement that the easement would have been granted already if it weren’t for the “political interference” by Obama’s administration and that the pipeline company has waited long enough.

Protestors of the Dakota Access pipeline see the delay as a successful step toward stopping the pipeline from crossing underneath their water supply, which they believe the pipeline would threaten.

Source:
Fuel Fix

Chairman for Standing Rock Asks Obama to Halt Pipeline Before Trump Takes Office

Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe Dave Archambault II is once again asking President Obama to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, leaving a "true legacy" before President-elect Trump takes office.

The request came after the polls declared Trump as the winning U.S. President-elect for the next term, a man who has invested up to $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company developing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Archambault is urging Obama to use his power to give the children of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe hope for their future by stopping the pipeline that would potentially ruin water supply and destroy ancient artifacts and burial grounds in southern North Dakota.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said in a statement Friday that the agency plans to announce its decision on a "path forward" for the easement needed for Dakota Access to build the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe in just a matter of days.

Source:
ABC News

Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Attempt to Cross Creek to Reach Private Land Despite Warnings from Law Enforcement

The red marker indicates the location of Cantapeta Creek where protestors attempted to cross the water Wednesday in order to reach Cannon Ball Ranch to continue their protest. The land is privately owned, and law enforcement warned that those who crossed would be arrested for criminal trespass. (  Google Maps  )

The red marker indicates the location of Cantapeta Creek where protestors attempted to cross the water Wednesday in order to reach Cannon Ball Ranch to continue their protest. The land is privately owned, and law enforcement warned that those who crossed would be arrested for criminal trespass. (Google Maps)

Protestors of the Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday attempted to construct a bridge across Cantapeta Creek near the Missouri River in order to gain access to the private land of Cannon Ball Ranch, where they would continue to protest the pipeline.

State officers saw protestors building the bridge to cross the creek early Wednesday, according to a news release from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department. The department was then ordered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove the bridge and arrest any protestors trying to cross it with criminal trespass.

Officers removed the bridge and told protestors that if they attempted to cross the river, they would be arrested. Despite the warning, several protestors began swimming across the creek to reach the private land. Some protestors were also in canoes or boats. Several protestors who reached the other side of the creek were pushed back by officers guarding the private property, and some were sprayed with pepper spray.

After several hours of back-and-forth between officers and protestors, the protestors left and returned back to their main camp.

Media reports state that pipeline owner Energy Transfer purchased 6,000 acres of land on Cannon Ball Ranch through which the pipeline is supposed to run. Protestors believe the pipeline will destroy ancient artifacts and burial sites as well as contaminate water supply. Some protestors also worry about greenhouse gas emissions.

Views of the clash at Cantapeta Creek on Wednesday ranged according to protestors and law officers. Some protestors claim they were there to share love toward the officers and explain their reason for being there. In contrast, Sheriff Paul Laney from North Dakota said he had never seen “such an absolute disregard for the law or other people’s rights because of someone else’s ideology” in his 27 years of being in law enforcement.

Source:
CNN
NPR

Congress Members Formally Ask Obama Administration to Stop Dakota Access Pipeline

Several members of Congress wrote a letter to the White House Thursday urging President Obama to reject federal permits in order to permanently stop construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.

According to information from NBC News, the two-page letter was co-signed by 19 members of Congress, some who are known to be influential among the group’s progressive Democrats. The letter addresses issues affecting Native Americans, saying the pipeline poses threats to tribal and human rights.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation is just a half-mile from the pipeline route near the border of North Dakota and South Dakota, say the pipeline would contaminate water supply and destroy lands where their ancestors were buried.

Despite the controversy of the line, Dakota Access pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners has said it is committed to the project that would bring millions of dollars into the local economy and generate thousands of jobs.

The federal appeals court, which temporarily halted construction on that area of the line last month, is expected to make a decision on the fate of the project by October 11.

Source:
NBC News

Federal Review of Dakota Access Pipeline Expected to Finish within Weeks

The U.S. Justice Department estimates that the ongoing review on a stalled portion of the the Dakota Access pipeline should be finished within weeks, not months.

The temporary halt on the portion of the Dakota Access pipeline continues to be stalled while the government decides whether to issue the required permits for the construction to continue on federal land that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe claims is sacred. The affected portion of the pipeline is located near Lake Oahe in North and South Dakota.

District Judge James Boasberg on September 9 had denied the tribe’s request for an injunction to stop the pipeline on what they say are sacred grounds, but minutes after his ruling the federal government temporarily stopped construction so further reviews could be made on pipeline permits.

The Dakota Access pipeline project has gained national attention as thousands across the country continue to protest the pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other supporting tribes claim the pipeline would destroy sacred lands that include burial sites. Protestors also argue that a pipeline spill would significantly damage their water supply.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to file a response to the Standing Rock complaint by October 11.

Source:
Bloomberg

Over 30 Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Arrested within Last Two Days

According to North Dakota authorities, more than 30 protestors have been arrested in the last two days at a Dakota Access pipeline protest site.

The arrests are taking place at a protest site north of Almont, which is located roughly 70 miles north of the main protest site near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Eight protestors were arrested on Wednesday, three of them for attaching themselves to construction equipment, according to Morton County authorities. Since the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline escalated last month in North Dakota, 69 people have been arrested for trespassing or violating property.

A section of the Dakota Access pipeline located 40 miles around Lake Oahe in North Dakota has been temporarily stopped so permits can be re-examined. Even so, protests are continuing. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stated Friday that they would not back down until the pipeline is completely stopped.

Morton County officials are still pursuing charges against protestors who have attached themselves to construction equipment, according to Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

Federal Government Blocks Construction on Part of Dakota Access Pipeline

A banner protesting the Dakota Access pipeline hangs near North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux reservation on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/James MacPherson

A banner protesting the Dakota Access pipeline hangs near North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux reservation on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/James MacPherson

The federal government on Friday temporarily halted construction on the Dakota Access pipeline just minutes after a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s efforts to stop the pipeline. The tribe is calling the federal government’s interference a “game changer.”

The government’s decision to block parts of the pipeline that lies on federal lands near Lake Oahe in North Dakota comes after the Justice Department and other agencies called for the need to seriously re-examine tribal members’ involvement in infrastructure projects such as the Dakota Access pipeline.

Native American tribes from around the nation have gathered to protest the North Dakota pipeline, which the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe believes would harm burial grounds and affect their water supply. Amy Sisk from Prairie Public Broadcasting said in an NPR interview that this protest is a “monumental moment” for Native Americans as so many have come together in solidarity for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to revisit the permits it originally granted the pipeline developers to build on the federal lands. The government also requested that the pipeline developers pause construction on the pipeline 40 miles around Lake Oahe. It is currently unknown whether the pipeline developers, Energy Transfer Partners, will heed to this request.

Energy Transfer had previously stated it had complied with all federal and state rules regarding the pipeline process and received all necessary permits to build the pipeline. It said the pipeline project would create several jobs, boost local economies, and provide a reliable way to transport oil.

It is uncertain how long the temporary pause on construction will last. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have said they are prepared to stay and fight for many seasons to come because they “won’t give this up.”

“I certainly don’t think that this is the end of the pipeline or the protests,” said Sisk in the NPR interview.

Source:
New York Times
NPR

Dakota Access to Temporarily Stop Construction on Parts of Pipeline

Dakota Access Pipeline has agreed to temporarily halt construction on parts of an area that tribal groups claim is the location of sacred significance.

After violent protests erupted Saturday between protestors and security officers near a construction site, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and another tribe filed for a temporary restraining order against the pipeline developers.

U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg said Tuesday that he granted part of the temporary restraining order and denied another part of it because he believes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lacks jurisdiction on private land. He said he would decide Friday about whether to grant the tribes’ request to revoke the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ permits for the pipeline construction.

The protestors said the decision made by Boasberg puts burial and prayer sites at risk as the temporary restraining order only keeps Dakota Access Pipeline away from half of an allegedly sacred tribal site.

The protestors now wait for Boasberg’s decision Friday and plan to appeal his decision if he does not grant the protestors’ request.

Source:
PennEnergy
CNBC News