Photo – KeithTurrill/Alamy
Each day the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) continues to operate, it violates Indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights and poses a constant threat to the Missouri River — a crucial water source for the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes as well as much of the United States.
Last year a federal court ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the environmental impacts of the pipeline before the project can proceed. But, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is refusing to make many of their most critical findings public, especially relating to the effects of a potential oil spill and the effectiveness of spill response plans.
Showing the immense risk that this pipeline poses is an important step in the fight to end the threat DAPL poses to people and the environment. This information is crucial to understanding the immense risk this pipeline poses. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has access to data from the Department of Transportation (DOT) — but they won’t make it public.
Urge the Army Corps and the Department of Transportation to reveal the true impacts of a potential oil spill from the Dakota Access Pipeline on frontline Indigenous communities and the environment today.
DAPL crosses the Missouri River one-eighth of a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation and travels under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that is the primary water source for the Reservation. The risk of a spill poses an immense threat to the Reservation drinking water system as well as crucial fish and wildlife habitats that provide food for residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is assessing the environmental impacts of the pipeline, the results of which will likely be revealed next year, the pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) — a company with a disastrous history of pipeline safety violations — wants to double the flow rate of the pipeline to nearly a million barrels a day . This will inevitably put more pressure on the pipeline, increase the risk of oil spills, and risk the safety of the Tribes’ water sources — and makes it even more vital that the Army Corps produces a fair assessment of the impacts of the pipeline in order to head off this threat.
The continued operation of the pipeline and the lack of transparency that is playing out in the review is an environmental justice issue, as the communities being affected the most by the pipeline’s operation and who would be first responders to a potential spill are being left out of the assessment process.
Senior Director of Planning and Operations, NRDC
Help fight the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect Indigenous rights! | NRDC