Protesters Win: US Army Corps Denies Route for Dakota Pipeline
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US Army Corps of Engineers decided to deny the route for the Dakota Access pipeline that passes through Native American lands in North Dakota, handing a major victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe after months of protests that gained national and international solidarity.
US Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy announced the decision Sunday, with the Corps saying it was based on “a need to explore alternate routes” for the crossing.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said in a statement. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The tribe issued a statement announcing and celebrating the news and thanking the water protectors who have been braving the freezing cold and government repression.
“Today, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes,” Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II, in a statement, TeleSUR website reported.
“We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause.
We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water,” the statement read.
The action against the US$3.8 billion pipeline has attracted more than 300 Native American tribes from across the United States in a show of unity that is being called historic.
They said the project will damage burial sites considered sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and pollute the area's drinking water.