The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District is seeking public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Dakota Access, LLC’s request for an easement under the Mineral Leasing Act for the Dakota Access Pipeline. An easement was previously granted for the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, a federally protected reservoir, and the pipeline has continued to operate while the review is being carried out. The DEIS evaluated but made no recommendation of five alternatives, including abandoning or rerouting the pipeline.
This is the latest in a series of rigorous series of permitting hurdles for the long-delayed project. If you haven't already, please sign our comment below that we will submit to the Army Corps in support of DAPL before its comment period ends on November 13.
RE: Dakota Access Pipeline Project; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Draft Environmental Impact Statement
I commend Judge Boesberg’s decision to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) operating while the U.S. Army Corps conducts further environmental review, and I urge the swift approval of any additional permits for this critical project.
DAPL is one of the most technologically advanced and safest pipelines ever constructed, surpassing all federal safety requirements. Throughout planning and development, the project adhered to all federal, state and local laws and regulations and was approved by regulatory agencies in all four states where the pipeline operates, in addition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who completed more than a year of additional study in August of 2018. It's important to note after that thorough review, the Army Corps found the work substantiated its earlier determination that the pipeline poses “no significant environmental threats.” In total, agencies approved more than 1,000 certificates, permits and approvals for the project.
The fact that Judge Boesberg and the Army Corps ruled this year against shutting down the pipeline reiterates the trust the project has earned with its commitment to safety, which is also highlighted by the nearly four years of operation without one major incident.
I support the Dakota Access Pipeline for the following key reasons:
- The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation, known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, use DAPL to transport more than 60% of the oil they produce. A pipeline shutdown / Bakken production failure would cause significant loss among tribal members;
- The project has adhered to all federal, state and local laws and regulations, earning more than 1,000 certificates, permits and approvals – approximately one permit or approval for every mile of pipeline – from agencies in all states where it operates;
- DAPL currently moves over a million barrels of crude oil per day. These shipments would need to be transported by rail or truck – both of which are more costly and environmentally damaging;
- A DAPL shut down would cost producers up to $5.4 billion the first year of the shutdown, result in up to $1.4 billion in lost tax revenue for local and state governments and eliminate a potential 24,000 jobs, many belonging to Local 798 members.
Project leaders have demonstrated a commitment to transparency in an effort to develop the most responsible pipeline, conducting more than 550 meetings with community leaders, tribes, businesses, agricultural and civic organizations and local elected officials. In North Dakota alone, project leaders made 140 route adjustments during the planning process, including seventeen adjustments that specifically addressed concerns from involved parties.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has undergone a thorough and rigorous regulatory process while maintaining transparency with the public and adhering to all environmental and safety protocols. This is why we commend Judge Boesbberg for standing by the Army Corps’ decision to keep the pipeline operating while they conduct further review and why we support the approval of any additional permits.
Dakota Access Pipeline Project Supporter