Another fossil fuel pipeline project — the Dakota Access pipeline — is being held to a considerable level of environmental scrutiny.
Leading national and local environmental, tribal, and landowners’ rights organizations have submitted a letter on to President Obama voicing concern about the Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of some of the permits for the Dakota Access pipeline.
Dated August 25th, the letter asks Obama to direct the Corps to repeal existing permits and decline issuing any further permits until the pipeline project can be fully evaluated and held to the same standard as the Keystone XL pipeline.
The letter, signed by the Executive Directors of 31 groups, as well as the full list of signers, is available here.
“We, the organizations signed below, support the tribes and landowners along the pipeline route in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline project. We urge your Administration to direct the Corps to deny the remaining Section 408 permits for Dakota Access, revoke the pipeline’s authorizations under Nationwide Permit 12, and initiate a transparent CWA Section 404 permitting process that includes public notice and participation, formal tribal consultation, and adequate environmental review of the pipeline. Until that occurs, construction on this project should not be allowed to continue. We further call on your administration to revoke Nationwide Permit 12 or modify it to prevent the segmentation of pipelines in the future and resume its prior practice of evaluating the environmental impacts of individual fossil fuel pipelines. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.”
The Dakota Access pipeline, which would extend 1,168 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, would threaten communities, farms, Tribal land, sensitive natural areas and wildlife habitat. It would pass within just half a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, putting sacred sites and culturally important landscapes at risk and posing a devastating public health threat to the Tribe’s drinking water in the case of a spill.
In light of these potential risks, opposition to the pipeline continues to grow, gaining support from activists across the country. Standing Rock Sioux tribal members, joined by hundreds of Native and non-native allies and with official support from more than 90 tribal governments across the country, have gathered at the construction site over the last few weeks to block construction.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has also taken legal action to block construction of the pipeline. Yesterday a Federal Judge declined to issue a temporary injunction blocking construction of the pipeline. Protests will continue at the site until the court hears the Tribe’s request for a permanent injunction in September.
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