Posted: 08 Feb, 2017

The deputy secretary of the Army will grant the final permit needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Army declared in a court filing Tuesday that also indicated that they were terminating a plan to prepare an environmental-impact statement on how the pipeline would affect land and water along its 1,170-mile route. The move proves the new administration’s intent to spur infrastructure development and support the fossil fuel industry.

The project will cross four states and carry crude oil from the rich shale oil basins of western North Dakota to the pipeline networks and refineries in the Midwest. The section of the project running underneath Lake Oahe is one of the final segments to be built, and it could be operational between 60 and 80 days after construction starts. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Paul D. Cramer, wrote the easement will be granted to the project’s sponsor Energy Transfer Partners no later than Wednesday afternoon.

More confrontations could flare anew at the site between activists and law enforcement in the wake of the Army’s decision. While tribal leaders urged their supporters to go home as the weather worsens, a few hundred protesters remain. Last week, authorities arrested 74 activists who had decamped from the tribal reservation to land owned by Energy Transfer Partners.

Source: Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis in the Washington Post