At this time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refuses to authorize construction of the $3.8 billion, four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline on federal land in southern North Dakota. The corps also reiterated its previous request for the pipeline company to voluntarily stop work on private land in the area.
According to Associated Press, the corps’ statement came in the wake of a federal appeals court ruling Sunday that allowed construction to resume on the pipeline within 20 miles of Lake Oahe. That ruling sparked a large protest Monday in North Dakota that led to the arrest of 27 people, including “Divergent” actress Shailene Woodley, who is known for her activism.
AP said that a joint statement from the Justice Department, Interior Department and the corps said it was not ready to allow pipeline work to continue on its land bordering and under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that the agency manages on the Missouri River and the water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. It also called on pipeline owner Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners to voluntarily stop work in the area; ETP didn’t respond to a request from The Associated Press for comment Sunday or Monday.
The Standing Rock Sioux Nation has had sacred sites, that were supposed to be protected, already destroyed by ETP workers during the construction. They say the pipeline, which will cross through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, will destroy more cultural artifacts and sacred sites and will also pollute the drinking water. The tribe had asked the appeals court to continue blocking work on the section of pipeline while it appeals a lower-court ruling from September that let work on the entire pipeline go forward.
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