Gisteren maakte het Army Corps of Engineers bekend dat het de erfdienstbaarheid niet toekent en dat er dus niet onder het afgedamde gedeelte van de Missouri mag worden gegraven.
Er wordt nu onderzocht naar mogelijkheden om de pijpleiding te verleggen.
Verklaring van het Army Corps:
“The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.
Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.” Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.”
Alhoewel dit een overwinning lijkt voor de Standing Rock Sioux en hun medestanders, is het nog maar de vraag of dit besluit leidt tot het definitief afwenden van de bouw.
Congreslid Kevin Cramer van North Dakota heeft in een verklaring gezegd dat hij de beslissing van het Army Corps aan de kaak zal stellen.
“I hoped even a lawless president wouldn’t continue to ignore the rule of law. However, it was becoming increasingly clear he was punting this issue down the road. Today’s unfortunate decision sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country. Roads, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, wind farms and water lines will be very difficult, if not impossible, to build when criminal behavior is rewarded this way. In my conversation with Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy today, she was unable to give any legal reasons for the decision and could not answer any questions about rerouting the pipeline. I’m encouraged we will restore law and order next month when we get a President who will not thumb his nose at the rule of law. I feel badly for the Corps of Engineers because of the diligent work it did on this project, only to have their Commander-in-Chief throw them under the bus. But he’s been doing that to the military for eight years, so why not one more time on his way out the door.”
Gouverneur Jack Dalrymple noemde de beslissing “een ernstige fout”.
JUST IN: N. Dakota Governor Dalrymple says decision to postpone action on easement is 'serious mistake' by Obama administration – statement
— Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) 4 december 2016
Ondanks de onzekerheid vierde men in het protest kamp de overwinning.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) 5 december 2016