The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has had a long fight, but now it looks like it might be a victory on their part. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, tribal leadership announced late Sunday.
The agency will not allow the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a reservoir near the tribal reservation, without a full environmental impact assessment that examines alternative routes for the pipeline.
However, it might be a little too early for celebration, this might end up being just a temporary roadblock in pipeline construction. Many people see it as an incredible victory for water protestors who have faced water cannons, mace, rubber bullets, mass arrests, and more. This has been a long struggle to protect their drinking water and treaty land.
Assistant secretary for civil works Jo-Ellen Darcy announced the decision on Sunday, with the army saying it was based on “a need to explore alternative routes” for the crossing.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said in a statement. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The army corps will undertake an environmental impact statement and look for alternative routes, the tribe said in its own announcement.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama administration for this historic decision,” tribal chairman Dave Archambault said in a statement.
Let us hope that this is the end of this horrible journey and that nobody else will have to get hurt for the sake of this horrible pipeline.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has also expressed its gratitude for the decision in a statement:
Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahu for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.