The Army announced Sunday that it has denied the final easement required for the $3.8 billion project to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Instead, it will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement to examine the impacts and explore alternative routes, it said.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in a statement. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternative routes for the pipeline crossing.”
In a statement, Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II applauded the news.
“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 to take steps to correct the course history and to do the right thing,” he said.
Archambault added that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country “will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.” He noted his hope that the incoming Trump administration would respect the decision.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.