The Army Corps of Engineers will grant an easement to continue construction on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, reports ABC News.
From ABC News:
“Today’s announcement will allow for the final step, which is granting of the easement,” said Robert Speer, the acting secretary of the Army. “Once that it done, we will have completed all the tasks in the presidential memorandum of Jan. 24, 2017.” Speer said that the decision was made based on a sufficient amount of already available information that supported granting the easement request and that, as a result, the notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement was terminated.
In a statement, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said it was “undaunted in its commitment to challenge an easement announcement by the U.S. Department of the Army for the Dakota Access Pipeline.” Attorneys for the tribe believe that the easement cannot be granted legally at this time.
“The Obama administration correctly found that the Tribe’s treaty rights needed to be acknowledged and protected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations,” said Jan Hasselman, lead attorney for the tribe. “Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and unlawful violation of Treaty rights.”
The army’s decision came two months after the group said they would explore alternative routes for the pipeline, which will run under the Missouri river, reports the New York Times.