Tribes say environmental review of Dakota Access pipeline is flawed
NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (Reuters) – Native American tribes, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday that the Dakota Access pipeline environmental study was biased and urged the Biden administration to bring in the United States. Department of the Interior.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last year revoked a key environmental permit for the largest oil pipeline in North Dakota’s oil basin and ordered the study.
The tribes, which also include the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe and the Oglala Sioux tribe, said they believe the process is currently designed to justify issuing a new permit at the same location and that the study project does not. did not take into account technical and cultural aspects. information that the tribes presented to the Corps.
“Our participation in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process and the initial draft review reveals that the Corps fundamentally misunderstood the court’s directive and the requirements of the law,” the tribes said in the letter to Jaime Pinkham. , interim assistant. secretary of the public works army.
“The administration needs to call on the US Department of the Interior as an equal cooperative agency with the appropriate expertise to help the body focus on the tribal impacts and concerns that motivated this SIA in the first place.”
Earlier this week, the operators of Dakota Access asked the United States Supreme Court to determine whether the 570,000 barrels-per-day pipeline required an additional environmental review. Read more
The pipeline entered service in 2017 after months of protests from environmentalists, Native American tribes and their supporters. Opponents said its construction destroyed sacred artifacts and posed a threat to Lake Oahe, a vital water supply, and the great Missouri River.
Energy Transfer (ET.N), which operates the line, said it was safe. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
The tribes also noted on Wednesday that the company responsible for the EIS – Environmental Resources Management (ERM) – is a member of the industry lobby group American Petroleum Institute, saying it should be replaced.
ERM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Stephen Coates and Marguerita Choy
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