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Dakota Access Pipeline Put On Hold

In a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the U.S. Army Corps announced Monday that it won’t grant an easement to allow completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline while it looks further into concerns raised by the tribe.

The corps announced it would set a timeline with the tribe for further consideration of its concerns, including the risk of spills into the Missouri River, the drinking water source for the tribe and more than 17 million people downstream.

Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas, Texas, has completed the more than 1,100-mile oil pipeline through four states but for the last stage: drilling under the river to finish the pipeline. For that, it needs the easement to cross corps land. The corps set a review schedule “that allows for robust discussion and analysis to be completed expeditiously.”

In its review, the corps seeks to learn more about the risk of spills, and given those risks, whether the tribe believes the easement should be granted.

The tribe has adamantly opposed the pipeline, to protect drinking water and sacred sites in its ancestral lands. Hundreds of people have been camped near the proposed crossing since April to oppose the pipeline and support the tribe. Washington state tribes, fighting fossil fuel projects, too, have joined in the struggle against the pipeline, traveling to the camps and taking donations.

Energy Transfer Partners could not immediately be reached for comment.

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