18:57 GMT +324 March 2017
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    In this Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 photo, Beatrice Menase Kwe Jackson, center, walks with Daniel Emory, both of the Ojibwe Native American tribe as they lead a procession to the Cannonball river for a traditional water ceremony at the Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D.

    Victory for Standing Rock Sioux: Dakota Access Pipeline to Be Rerouted

    © AP Photo/ David Goldman
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    The US Army Corps of Engineers has denied the necessary easement for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline to build near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, the tribe said, on the grounds that it could contaminate water supplies.

    "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," the December 4 statement by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said. "Instead, the corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes."

    The Standing Rock Sioux and a growing coalition of other tribes, environmental activists and supporters have been protesting the construction of the nearly 1,200 mile pipeline for months, and suffering increasingly violent clashes with law enforcement and security personnel over the issue. The Standing Rock Sioux have objected to the proposed pipeline route for years, saying it threatened their water and sacred cultural sites and violated treaties.

    The pipeline is mostly complete, and has been waiting for permission to run under federal land encompassing Lake Oahe.

    "We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing," Archambault said.

    The tribe thanked everyone who had supported them, calling out in particular the tribal youth who had initiated the movement, those who had traveled to the protest camp and other tribal nations who had stood with them. 

    "Throughout this effort I have stressed the importance of acting at all times in a peaceful and prayerful manner — and that is how we will respond to this decision. With this decision we look forward to being able to return home and spend the winter with our families and loved ones, many of whom have sacrificed as well."

    Archambault also said he hoped the incoming Trump administration and North Dakota's governor and Congressional representatives would respect the decision.

    "When it comes to infrastructure development in Indian Country and with respect to treaty lands, we must strive to work together to reach decisions that reflect the multifaceted considerations of tribes.Treaties are paramount law and must be respected, and we welcome dialogue on how to continue to honor that moving forward. We are not opposed to energy independence, economic development, or national security concerns but we must ensure that these decisions are made with the considerations of our Indigenous peoples."

    He also said he hoped to work together with local law enforcement to "heal" the relationship.

    "Again, we are deeply appreciative that the Obama Administration took the time and effort to genuinely consider the broad spectrum of tribal concerns. In a system that has continuously been stacked against us from every angle, it took tremendous courage to take a new approach to our nation-to-nation relationship, and we will be forever grateful," the tribe's statement concluded.

    Some supporters online have said protesters intend to stay in the camps out of fears Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the pipeline, will build anyway. 

    North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer issued a statement in response to the tribe's announcement.

    "Today's unfortunate decision sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country. Roads, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, wind farms and water lines will be very difficult, if not impossible, to build when criminal behavior is rewarded this way…. I'm encouraged we will restore law and order next month when we get a President who will not thumb his nose at the rule of law," he said.

    Related:

    DAPL Protest: Riot Charges Against Journalist Amy Goodman Rejected
    New Jersey Senator Calling For Federal Monitors at DAPL Protests Amid Clashes
    North Dakota Police To Block Supplies From Entering Camp of Pipeline Protesters
    North Dakota Governor Orders Emergency Evacuation of Pipeline Protest Area
    US Army Corps of Engineers Says Dakota Access Protest Camp Must Close Next Month
    Tags:
    easement, DAPL, Dakota Access Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, US Army Corps of Engineers, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux reservation, United States, North Dakota
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    • avatar
      jas
      Obama is doing what he always does, leave the problem for someone else.

      That congressman should lose the next election for calling those people criminals just because they defended themselves. Kevin Cramer was very wrong to say that. He's supposed to be representing the people, not the corporations.
    • support
      IMO,just from a civil engineering point of view alone, the best route is through the most geotectonically stable strata of soil, earth and rock. That most stable element is by definition parallel to and part of the existing rail right-of-way which has been in place for over 100 years. Through the decades and through the passage of hundreds of trains over that rail roadbed, that subsurface strata has been transformed into a layer of earth strong enough to defy even the direct impact of aerial bombing and the horizontal impact of deep flooding.

      Whether the Union Pacific right-of-way or that of BNSF are chosen, either shall do just fine for preserving the physical integrity of the pipeline itself against all elements human and of natural origin. To cap its benefits, that rail roadbed has been required by law to be inspected annually by the best available technological means to include seismically and magnetometrically almost since the day it was completed.

      Only one slight problem arises which is entirely due to the rail roadbed profile's virtues: how to cut into this edge section of roadbed parallel to the daily passage of tens of dozens of passing trains :>).
    • Adrienne Adonis
      The pipeline is still going to be built no matter what. So it does not matter how they re route it. The damage will still be done
    • rodneswicksculptor
      "rule of law" WHAT KIND OF HYPOCRITICAL JACKASS MORONIC COMMENT IS THAT!!! That's tribal land !! it's theirs!! Not some corporate giveaway! I wonder how much they paid the governor to do and say such stupidity?.
    • avatar
      marcanhalt
      This is a perfect venue to show that Trump is not a racist, but that his roots are the same as these historical heroes. I would suspect that Cramer spoke too soon as to Trump's intentions.
    • avatar
      hopscotch64
      Obama as previous posters said did not want to leave office with a blood bath on his legacy and so passed the buck to Trump. But there is more too this than just the Obama legacy. If Trump reverses this decision and violence erupts the Democrats will pile on and Trump will be left holding the political bag. I suspect this is the plan. There is no need to celebrate at this time as we have not heard the last word on this confrontation. I doubt Trump is politically savvy enough to avoid the trap.
      Trump is entering a political mine field that the Democrats are preparing for him not only on this issue but many more to come.
    • avatar
      goldcamshaft
      Is the US Army Corps of Engineers' finding the final say in the matter? It might help, but from what i gather from the article, it is just a recommendation and, perhaps, can be overriden by a nasty person or committee.
    • avatar
      Michael Hill
      Excellent news! Hats off to the protesters for their persistence.
    • Anton KOMAROV
      So the first time for many years that the industrial nut jobs who will squander the entire planet's ecosystems for immediate profit have lost their insatiable desire for profit driven excess.A possible foretaste of changes afoot?
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