Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) intends to spend $3.7 billion buildings the North Dakota Access Pipeline (NDAP), to carry more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the Bakken and Three Forks production regions of North Dakota. The pipeline would be 30 inches wide, traveling 1,172 miles, through South Dakota and Iowa, to connect with an existing pipeline in Patoka, Ill. The pipeline is about halfway constructed, with about 90% of land clearing and grading in North Dakota already done.
The Standing Rock Sioux wants to prevent Energy Transfer Partners from further disturbing sacred sites west of the Missouri river. The tribe also fears for the safety of its drinking water, with the pipeline set to cross under the Missouri River upstream of its water intake pipes.
ETP sought an injunction against protests by the Standing Rock tribe and others, but a judge rejected it last week.
Earthjustice, representing the Standing Rock Sioux, brought legal action in July 2016 raising numerous issues with environmental review, tribal sovereignty. A ruling is expected in early October 2016. More details forthcoming.
Recent update: On Wednesday (1/18/17), U.S. District Court Judge James Boesberg denied DAPL attorneys’ attempt to stop the Army Corp of Engineers from conducting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Lake Oahe crossing. Following Boesberg’s decision, the Army Corps of Engineers officially published a notice of intent in the federal register to prepare a partial EIS. The legal process now moves into the formal comment period, which lasts until February 20. The EIS was ordered after the Corps denied a permit for Energy Transfer Partners, DAPL’s parent company, to build the final easement under Lake Oahe.