Ever since the beginning of April, water protectors from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and many who supported them have been fighting against the construction of an oil pipeline under the Missouri River that could endanger the water supply for thousands of people. After being deprived of supplies, assaulted by police officers from across the country and hosed down with water cannons in freezing temperatures, they’ve finally been awarded their victory.
The Army Corp of Engineers officially announced that they would be blocking the current plan to build the $3.7 pipeline and would look for alternative routes, according to CNN.
“The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in a statement, according to the New York Times.
The miniature city of tents and campfires in North Dakota was reportedly full of celebration after the announcement. Deservedly so. People have put their lives and bodies on the line for the cause, which is about much more than saving the environment – although that is surely a fight worth having.
There is some reason for caution, however, given that executives of Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners, the companies responsible for the pipeline, are confident that construction will be completed.
They reportedly “fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe.”
Hopefully, the water protectors in North Dakota can enjoy the rest they’ve more than earned over the past few month and enjoy this victory.