The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been locked in a legal battle to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from impacting it’s cultural, water, and natural resources. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,168-mile long crude oil pipeline that will transport nearly 570,000 barrels of oil each day from North Dakota to Illinois. The Army Corps of Engineers green-lighted several sections of the process without fully satisfying the National Historic Preservation Act, various environmental statutes, and its trust responsibility to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
This is another chapter in the long history of the federal government granting the construction of potentially hazardous projects near or through tribal lands, waters, and cultural places without including the tribe. The current proposed pipeline route crosses under Lake Oahe, just a half mile up from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
While the Tribe is waiting for a federal court decision on a preliminary injunction to stop the pipeline construction, the pipeline company is waiting for the Army Corps of Engineers to grant an easement to drill under Lake Oahe. The Army Corps of Engineers, the White House, and Congress must halt the easement because the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s waters and sacred places must be protected.