From Indigenous Rising:
Today, the Department of Army send a notice of intent to grant the final easement to Dakota Access pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, also known as the Missouri River.
The letter also states the Department of Army has waived its policy to wait 14 days after Congressional notification before granting an easement. It states an actual easement will be granted no sooner than 24 hours of the letter’s delivery.
Army Corps has given the US Senate only 24 hour notice on DAPL easement, instead of required 14-day notice. #NoDAPL
— Brad Johnson (@climatebrad) February 7, 2017
It’s my understanding that this means DAPL construction will resume in 24 hours without court injunction to stop. Anyone hear differently? https://t.co/elPPJNQOzr
— Corey Seymour (@speedist) February 7, 2017
Army Corps Grants Expedited Dakota Access Pipeline Easement
by Brad Johnson
Cancelling an ongoing environmental review, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given Congress 24 hours notice of its decision to grant an easement for the construction of the final leg of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The action was directed by one of President Donald Trump’s first presidential memoranda.
In the waning days of the Obama administration, after global pressure built from sustained opposition by Native American tribes to the Bakken shale pipeline in North Dakota, the Army announced it would begin a new environmental impact statement review of the project. Trump’s presidential memorandum of January 24th directed the Army Corps to expedite the approval process for the pipeline by any legal means necessary. In memos issued by Douglas W. Lamont, acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the corps terminated the environmental impact statement process and foreshortened the Congressional notification period from two weeks to one day.
Final construction on the pipeline could thus begin as early as tomorrow.
Analysis is developing on this, I’ll update as that comes in.
Also, lots of misinformation coming out of Standing Rock on social media on the status quo of the camps. I’m trying to put together an accurate update.
For more background on #noDAPL see our past posts on it: News Timeline of Standing Rock Water Protectors’ resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline
From Indigenous Environmental Network:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2017
Indigenous Environmental Network: Trump Can’t Build DAPL Without a Fight
Cannon Ball, ND — Today the Army Corps of Engineers notified Congress that it will grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline in the next 24 hours, trampling a planned environmental and tribal consultation review process.
Statement from Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network:
“Donald Trump will not build his Dakota Access Pipeline without a fight. The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight — it is the new beginning. Expect mass resistance far beyond what Trump has seen so far.
“The granting of this easement goes against protocol, it goes against legal process, it disregards more than 100,000 comments already submitted as part of the not-yet-completed environmental review process — all for the sake of Donald Trump’s billionaire big oil cronies. And, it goes against the treaty rights of the entire Seven Councils Fires of the Sioux Nations.
“Donald Trump has not met with a single Native Nation since taking office. Our tribal nations and Indigenous grassroots peoples on the frontlines have had no input on this process. We support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and stand with them at this troubling time.”
See the letter to Congress on the easement here: indigenousrising.org/…
February 7, 2017
Grijalva on Trump Administration’s Decision to Proceed with Building the Dakota Access Pipeline
Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) received a letter today from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army notifying him that the Army will move forward, as soon as tomorrow, with granting an easement to the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“Before the Women’s March and before thousands of people protested at airports, the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies were camping in the freezing cold to defend their rights. The Obama Administration heard those concerns and agreed to take a step back; this Administration is ignoring them,” said Grijalva. “In his first few weeks in office our new President has built a resume of discrimination, falsehoods, and sloppy work, and now the decision to trample the sovereignty of our First Americans is the latest entry on a growing list of shameful actions.”
From the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Feb. 7, 2017
Standing Rock denounces Army easement announcement, vows court challenge
Cannon Ball, N.D.— The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe today said it is undaunted in its commitment to challenge an easement announcement by the U.S. Department of the Army for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk. We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “Americans have come together in support of the Tribe asking for a fair, balanced and lawful pipeline process. The environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated. This pipeline was unfairly rerouted across our treaty lands. The Trump administration – yet again – is poised to set a precedent that defies the law and the will of Americans and our allies around the world.”
Attorneys for the Tribe emphasize that the easement cannot be granted legally at this time. “The Obama administration correctly found that the Tribe’s treaty rights needed to be acknowledged and protected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations,” said Jan Hasselman, lead attorney for the Tribe. “Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and unlawful violation of Treaty rights. They will be held accountable in court.”
Next steps for Tribe and allies
• The Tribe will challenge any easement decision on the grounds that the EIS was wrongfully terminated. The Tribe will demand a fair, accurate and lawful environmental impact statement to identify true risks to its treaty rights, including its water supply and sacred places.
• The Tribe has asked the court for DAPL to disclose its oil spill and risk assessment records for full transparency and review by the public.
• If DAPL is successful in constructing and operating the pipeline, the Tribe will seek to shut the pipeline operations down.
• A Native Nations march on Washington is scheduled for March 10. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and tribes across the country invite allies in America and from around the world to join the march.
“We ask that our allies join us in demanding that Congress demand a fair and accurate process,” Archambault II said. “Our fight is no longer at the North Dakota site itself. Our fight is with Congress and the Trump administration. Meet us in Washington on March 10.”
Archambault II said he knows the Standing Rock movement has inspired people around the world to shape their world at home and abroad.
“As Native peoples, we have been knocked down again, but we will get back up, we will rise above the greed and corruption that has plagued our peoples since first contact. We call on the Native Nations of the United States to stand together, unite and fight back. Under this administration, all of our rights, everything that makes us who we are is at risk. Please respect our people and do not come to Standing Rock and instead exercise your First Amendment rights and take this fight to your respective state capitols, to your members of Congress, and to Washington, DC.”
From Earth Justice:
For Immediate Release
February 7, 2017
Contact: Bryan Watt firstname.lastname@example.org
Senate, House Natural Resource Leaders Blast Dakota Access Pipeline Decision, Stand up for Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights
Members of Congress: “We strongly oppose this decision and any efforts to undermine tribal rights”
WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter to President Donald Trump, members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Committee on Natural Resources blasted the Trump Administration’s approval of a final easement to build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and their failure to undertake meaningful consultation with Native American tribes.
“This blatant disregard for federal law and our country’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Native American tribes is unacceptable. We strongly oppose this decision and any efforts to undermine tribal rights,” the Members of Congress said in the letter. “We urge you to immediately reverse this decision and follow the appropriate procedures required for tribal consultation, environmental law, and due process.”
Earlier today, the Army Corps of Engineers announced they had completed the review of the pipeline and had granted a final easement to Dakota Access LLC, allowing the final segment of the DAPL to be completed. The decision circumvents appropriate consultation with Native American Tribes and the Army Corps’ environmental review process.
The pipeline is projected to carry 500,000 barrels of oil underneath the Missouri River per day. The oil crosses the river at Lake Oahe, just a half mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Lake Oahe and the Missouri provide drinking water for the tribe and the surrounding regions, as well as providing habitat for fish and wildlife. Significantly, the lake is also a sacred site for the Standing Rock Sioux, playing an important role in sacred ceremonies.
Signing the letter are Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-3), Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-4) and Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2).
The full letter is below.
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
As members of the United States Senate and House Natural Resources Committees, we write to express our deep concern regarding the announcement made today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that it intends to issue the final easement under Lake Oahe for the Dakota Access Pipeline. This decision was made without appropriate tribal consultation, a full environmental review, or sufficient due process. This blatant disregard for federal law and our country’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Native American tribes is unacceptable. We strongly oppose this decision and any efforts to undermine tribal rights.
A number of us have repeatedly expressed our concerns with the tribal consultation and permitting process and have called for meaningful consultation with tribes and a substantive review of the environmental and social impacts as well as potential alternatives. The arbitrary and capricious decision to grant the easement now ignores the rights of tribal governments, circumvents legal requirements, and stifles the voices of millions of people who have expressed concerns over the process to date. Granting this easement without meaningful tribal consultation, nor proper review of environmental impacts, is unlawful and morally unacceptable.
In addition, it has been the policy of the Corps to wait at least 14 days between notifying Congress of its intent to grant an easement of this nature, and actually doing so. This decision violates that policy and circumvents appropriate congressional review.
The United States has both a legal and moral responsibility to uphold its tribal treaty and trust responsibilities. This announcement demonstrates a total disregard for tribal rights, the rule of law, separation of powers, and transparency.
We urge you to immediately reverse this decision and follow the appropriate procedures required for tribal consultation, environmental law, and due process.
Thank you for your consideration,
Omg. From ABC News: