Before approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline, three federal agencies demanded that the US Army Corps of Engineers perform an Environmental Impact Assessment before carrying on with the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S Department of Interior (DOI) joined forces earlier in the year and asked the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to review what was to be done and who would be affected before anything be carried out.
The three agencies each wrote letters to the Army Corps of Engineers in an effort to hopefully get them to consider the impact of the pipeline to the land that will be destroyed by it. The Department of Interior’s letter expressed concerns due to the fact that the pipeline is so close to the water supply to the Reservation. In their letter, they stated the following:
‘When establishing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s (Tribe) permanent homeland, The U.S. reserved waters of sufficient quantity and quality to serve the purpose of the Reservation. The Department holds more than 800,000 acres of land in trust for the Tribe that could be impacted by a leak or spill. Further, a spill could impact the waters that the Tribe and individual tribal members residing in that area rely upon for drinking and other purposes.’
The letter further went on explaining that they did not believe the Corps took any consideration of the letter sent by The EPA, nor did it look adequately enough into the impact that the pipeline would have on the Reservation. It was even insinuated that if the Corps did look into, which it was believed not to have, they didn’t actually make it out to be as big of a deal as it should have been.
— Phil McKenna (@mckennapr) September 22, 2016
— Sarah van Gelder (@sarahvangelder) October 13, 2016
The Advisory Council was said to be “perplexed” by the fact that the Army Corps had so many problems communicating with the Tribe at all, also stating the amount of time it took the Corps to react. In their letter, they expressed that the Sioux Tribe made several attempts to discuss the pipeline with the Corps to no avail.
‘It is troubling to note that the THPO’s letters indicate that the Corps took more than seven months to address the Tribe’s specific concerns,’
Despite the objections from the three agencies, the Army Corps approved the Dakota Pipeline and in turn have caused a major uproar from Tribal members and various other protesters throughout the country.
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