The Army Corps of Engineers has put a temporary halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline, stating that the Corps intends to conduct more thorough consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and that the Corps would not grant an easement to drill under the Missouri River without further analysis.
The National Wildlife Federation stands with the Tribes. There is no place for violence against peaceful protestors exercising their right to free speech. Clean water is as essential to community health and prosperity as it is for healthy and thriving wildlife populations. The Army Corps of Engineers’ original expedited, low-level permit review to analyze the Dakota Access Pipeline project is concerning to the National Wildlife Federation, and undermines the intent of the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Federal agencies have expressed concerns over the adequacy of the Corps' review of this project's potential impacts on important resources like the Missouri River and Lake Oahe. It is important that a proper review of these and other potential impacts occur before any project is constructed. Equally troubling to date is the reported failure to fully engage and consult with tribal governments through a comprehensive scope that looks at, and considers threats to wildlife, natural and tribal resources. We respect why the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) feel obligated to explore legal remedies that will provide a fuller perspective of the wide-ranging harms caused by a failure of federal agencies to adequately consult with tribes on these massive infrastructure projects.
The Corps should consider pipeline impacts to water resources in their entirety and fulfill its public trust responsibilities to sovereign Tribal Nations, respect their treaty rights, and properly consult them so that Native Peoples, and all Americans, can be fully informed about whether the Dakota Access Pipeline is worth the costs.
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