The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reportedly preparing to give Energy Transfer Partners the final green light to complete its Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
In a statement issued on Tuesday, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said that the Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer informed him that he has directed the Corps to grant the easement needed to complete the DAPL.
“This will enable the company to complete the project, which can and will be built with the necessary safety features to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others downstream,” Hoeven said.
Hoeven added that the Corps, the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior and the Department of Homeland Security are working to secure additional federal law enforcement resources to support state and local law enforcement.
The Corps has not commented on the matter yet or issued the easement.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this month calling for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and the Corps to “review and approve in an expedited manner” requests to construct and operate the DAPL.
Native American and environmentalist groups have been staging protests against the DAPL, citing concerns about potential impacts to nearby waterways.
The Corps halted work on the remaining stretch of the DAPL last year after refusing to grant an easement that would allow the line to travel under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.
The Corps’ decision followed a lawsuit filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe last year that alleged the Corps violated historic preservation and environmental laws when it approved the project.
The Corps continued to delay construction despite a federal judge ruling in September that construction could move forward.
The Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said in the December that her department would “not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.”
Darcy said alternative routes for the pipeline will likely be explored through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Sunoco Logistics Partners (SXL) called the Army’s decision the latest in a “series of overt and transparent political actions” undertaken by the Obama administration.
SXL agreed in November to acquire ETP in a unit-for-unit transaction worth over $20 billion.
In a statement, ETP and Sunoco Logistics Partners (SXL) called the Army’s decision the latest in a “series of overt and transparent political actions” undertaken by the Obama administration.
The companies added that the remain “fully committed” to completing the pipeline without any rerouting in or around Lake Oahe.