Army Halts Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline

In a big win for the Standing Rock tribe, the Corps of Engineers says other routes should be explored.


Update: Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the Dakota Access Pipeline, has harshly criticized the Army’s decision. “The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency,” it said in a statement. It said it expects to finish the pipeline without any additional rerouting.”

The US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant a permit for the controversial Dakota Access pipeline to cross under Lake Oahu in South Dakota, a decision that could halt construction of the last link of the controversial pipeline that has been the subject of protests for the better part of this year. The water protectors, as they refer to themselves, have set up camps in the path of the pipeline in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which opposes the project. This weekend, veterans from around the country converged on the region to show their support.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issued a statement commending “the courage that it took for Barack Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and do the right thing.” Tribal chairman David Archambault also expressed hope that the incoming Trump administration would “respect this decision.”

In its statement, the Army said it believes the pipeline route should be subject to a full environmental impact statement “with full public input and analysis.” That process typically takes multiple months, often years.

Mother Jones’ Wes Enzinna is currently enroute to the area and will continue covering this developing story.