Changing Planet

U.S. Gov’t Pauses Dakota Access Pipeline Construction on Army Corps Land

[The following text is from an official press release by the U.S. Department of the Interior.]

Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe V. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Last edited 9/9/2016

Date: September 9, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.  However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.  Therefore, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior will take the following steps.

“The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws.  Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.  The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution.  In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.

“Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.  Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions:  (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.

“Finally, we fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely.  We urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.  Of course, anyone who commits violent or destructive acts may face criminal sanctions from federal, tribal, state, or local authorities.  The Departments of Justice and the Interior will continue to deploy resources to North Dakota to help state, local, and tribal authorities, and the communities they serve, better communicate, defuse tensions, support peaceful protest, and maintain public safety.

“In recent days, we have seen thousands of demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites.  It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.”


More on Standing Rock

Standing With Standing Rock and the Right to Clean Water

From the Front Lines of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

  • Rebecca Enerson

    We Stand with Standing Rock!!-this is a fight for all of us from letting Big Oil destroy this planet for profits-We can convert and not need the oil and that is exactly what big oil is so afraid of in this fight-why do all this when you can use less energy and money just to convert your power source-they want that pipeline in so its there as a place holder to their death grip on the world-preserving our water and land from pollution and contamination is a fight for survival now-obviously the entities profitting from the oil gravy train would rather see us all dead than give up the cash-we ALL need to stand with this movement it is for our future as well-the atrocities of the railroad era cannot be repeated with oil companies claiming eminent domain and “railroading” people they don’t think have the means to fight against their bulldozers, scare tactics and lawyers -follow this link to make your stand-thinkrailr

  • Edward Haskins

    This one stinks. The nation is watching you closely.

  • Craig Quirolo

    The Bundys, the folks that pointed guns at Federal agents took over public lands and threatened civil disobedience were not exposed to attack dogs and a private militia.. Whats up America? These people are protecting their drinking water, their source of life, their ancestry and our planet.

  • Timeto Moveon

    A bunch of throwbacks and their white guilt ridden sympathizers who know nothing about technology and the environment making a ruckus. [yawn]

  • David Maxwell Braun

    National Geographic encourages open and candid discussions and debates. However, all communications should be civil and respectful.

  • Jim

    Obama administration throws property rights and contractual agreements under the bus. The Sioux are worried about oil in their Missouri drinking water? They’re just a few miles downstream of the City of Bismarck’s wastewater treatment plant outfall: yuck.

  • Jim

    Bundys? What are you smokin, CQ. One of wildlife takeover Bundy crowd got shot dead by the FBI and a whole bunch more are in jail. The Sioux wouldn’t have had any trouble if they hadn’t of attacked people on private property and they probably wouldn’t have gotten bitten if they hadn’t attacked the dogs with 2x4s. It was the dogs that got sent to the hospital.

  • Smoky Joe

    Stop this insane madness with dirty fossil fuels that are driving the earth’s climate permanently and unrecoverably out-of-control. Click the figure to see how the world’s temperature has increased each month since 1850

  • Kevin Ross

    Dogs go to a vet not a hospital. Good thing those bulldozers are safe. That’s what’s important here. Don’t know anything about technology? Yet everyone on social media has heard this protest. Don’t know anything about the environment? Thats funny!

  • Jesse

    Great! Thanks for sharing such an informative posts so keep it up man!!

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