Years later, Army Corps seeks input on controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota


Hard to believe it’s been seven years when some Oklahoma protesters joined thousands of others at the Dakota Access Pipeline projecct in North Dakota. They spent weeks fighting the pipeline opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The protests lasted for months but the Trump administration eventually approved the project in June of 2017. Today, up to 750,000 barrels of petroleum pass through the pipeline, which stretches from western North Dakota to southern Illinois.

All these years later, the public is being given an opportunity to offer comments on the environmental risks of the pipeline built by Energy Transfer. The opportunity came as a result of a 2020 federal court ruling that stated the Army Corps of Engineers had not done a thorough environmental review on the project. The Corps was ordered to carry out a full environmental impact statement and an analysis is underway.

A spokesman for the Omaha branch of the Army Corps explained the public comment period offers an opportunity to determine whether the draft environmental impact statement is adequate.

“Public input will actually help us to do better analysis and also to ultimately reach a better decision,” said Steven Wolf, chief of the public affairs office.

He said the new draft environmental impact statement points out there have been no leaks in the pipeline since it began operatiions. The draft also noted the possibility of an oil spill underneath Lake Oahe is “remote to very unlikely.” It also found that an oil spill would be more likely if it were moved by railcar or truck.

Source: The Grist