The Dakota Access Pipeline is currently under construction, proposed to carry fracked oil from the Bakken fields in North Dakota 1,172 miles to Patoka, Illinois. On Tuesday, July 26, 2016, the US Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) approved the water crossing permits for the pipeline. Soon after, a historic grassroots resistance movement erupted at the site of the original spirit camp established in April on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, determined to stop the pipeline through prayer and non-violent direct action. The encampment at Standing Rock blossomed as many thousands of people representing hundreds of tribes and First Nations came from all over the world, including allies, to stand in solidarity.
The federal government's rubber stamp approval undermines the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, as well as federal trust responsibilities guaranteed in the 1851 and 1868 United States treaties with the L/D/Nakota tribes, which remain the supreme law of the land. We support the subsequent legal filings by the Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Rosebud Sioux, and Yankton Sioux Tribes, whose human rights, treaty rights, and sovereignty are violated by these permits. We join them in calling for a full halt to all construction activities and repeal of all USACE permits until formal tribal consultation and environmental review are properly and adequately conducted.
On October 10, 2016, Honor the Earth, the Sierra Club and the Indigenous Environmental Network submitted a 30-page letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers. The letter explains why the USACE is prohibited by federal law from issuing DAPL any more permits, including the final outstanding easement for the Missouri River crossing at Standing Rock, and why they are required by federal law to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access pipeline.