What’s going on with the construction of the Dakota Pipeline?
Dakota Access Pipeline construction began in mid-March and is expected to be completed by June 2019.
DAPL is a $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile, 3,828-mile (5,064-kilometer) pipeline intended to transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois and Illinois to Illinois.
It will pass under the Missouri River, under the U.S.-Canada border and across the U,S.-Mexico border.
On March 5, 2018, a federal judge in Chicago granted a preliminary injunction against construction on the pipeline, which could take more than a year to fully comply with the order.
But as the pipeline continues to move, and construction continues to increase, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a lawsuit against the U’s Army Corps of Engineers in federal court in Chicago seeking to halt construction of DAPL on the grounds that the Army Corps is “failing to make reasonable progress” on the pipe.
“The Corps of Engineer has repeatedly failed to meet its own statutory and constitutional obligations to provide reasonable advance notice to Standing Rock, and to engage in a prompt, diligent and expeditious response to this critical issue,” the tribe wrote in the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday.
According to the lawsuit filed Thursday, the Corps of Engineering “has repeatedly failed” to provide the Standing River Sioux Tribe with a “full and complete” description of the pipeline’s environmental impact, and has also failed to make any public comments on the proposed route.
In its complaint, the tribe cited the Corps’ March 5 injunction, which “states that the Corps must provide the Sioux Tribe an opportunity to review the proposed pipe route, and provide a public hearing to determine whether the proposed pipeline is in the best interests of the people of South Dakota and the nation,” and states that “the Corps has failed to provide a full and complete response to the Sioux tribe’s request for a public comment period, or has refused to provide any public comment at all.”
The Standing Rock Tribe is also asking the court to declare that “an order of this nature is a ‘dangerous and unprecedented violation’ of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” which it says was “denied” to the tribe when the tribe was “in fact denied a hearing by the Corps.”
The Standing River tribe is also seeking a preliminary stay on the construction until the Army has “a full and thorough review of the project.”
“There are no known environmental consequences associated with the proposed construction of this pipeline,” the lawsuit said.
“The proposed pipeline will likely exacerbate existing and future environmental and social harm, and may even lead to additional displacement, displacement of local communities, and degradation of drinking water and health.”
According for the lawsuit:The Standing Stone Sioux Tribe, an indigenous American tribe in North Dakota, was the first tribe to join the Standing Up To Pipelines coalition, which is a coalition of indigenous groups and individuals that have been working to stop construction of a new pipeline in South Dakota, arguing that the proposed $3 billion pipeline will not help the tribe and that the project’s environmental impacts are more than adequately addressed by existing pipelines.
The tribe also filed a petition in March 2016 asking the Army to expedite the environmental review of its proposed route for the pipeline to allow the tribe to “better understand the impacts of this project on our water supply and the health of our water source, our sacred places and our future generations.”