Celebrations rang out on Sunday after news broke that the Army Corps of Engineers would be ending construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline as originally planned.
The pipeline was to be laid half a mile from the Dakota Sioux Standing Rock Tribe’s North Dakota Reservation, near the Missouri River, which the Tribe has claimed as a crucial water supply that could have been polluted by the pipeline.
The win comes after the Standing Rock Tribe mounted months of protests and court cases against the location of the pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers will be looking for alternative routes after not being granted an easement to drill beneath Lake Oahe, a major water source for the Standing Rock Tribe.
After a federal judge ruled that the Army could continue with construction of the pipeline in September, three federal agencies in the Obama Administration, including the Justice Department, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior, released a statement asking the Army not to go forth with construction on the pipeline. Just this past Sunday, however, after continuous protests, the Secretary of the Army informed tribal leaders that DAPL would be re-routing.
In the past few months, thousands of activists descended upon the Standing Rock Tribe’s camp near the pipeline site, joining a resistance that has been mounted since April. While the Standing Rock Tribe and protesters celebrate this victory, it could be short lived with the incoming presidential administration.
President-Elect Donald Trump has expressed support for the planned route of the pipeline, and, of course, it has been discovered that Trump has stock in the company. The company also donated $100,000 to Trump’s presidential campaign. Clearly, we will need to remain vigilant and ensure the protection of the Standing Rock Tribe’s land and water as we move forward.
Image via Flickr