Mar 31, 2016 - Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Recent Actions Against Dakota Access Pipeline
Recent Actions by the Tribe On Dakota Access Pipeline
March 31, 2016
Since the time of our last report, there has been extensive activity by the Tribe in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline on several fronts.
On March 24, the Tribe filed supplemental comments against the Dakota Access pipeline. This was a comprehensive document, stressing the broad range of Tribal concerns. First, the Corps has not complied with NEPA or the Clean Water Act because it must evaluate the impacts of the pipeline as a whole – not just in pieces, as it has been doing. Second, the Corps has not adequately considered the risk of an oil spill, and what such a spill would mean for the waters of Lake Oahe, and those who rely upon those waters. Third, the Corps has not considered the interests of the Tribe at all – although the Tribe has the most at stake. Fourth, the Corps has not complied with the National Historic Preservation Act – and has not adequately addressed the vitally important cultural resource issues raised by the Tribe. Overall, the comments stress the duties of the Corps under the trust responsibility to protect tribal rights and interests from harm – and here that means protecting the Tribe’s homeland, including lands, waters, animals, plants and people from the dangers of an oil spill from the proposed pipeline.
The Tribe requested that its comments be made part of the record for all the permits and other actions that the federal government is considering on the Dakota Access pipeline. Since the Corps is improperly taking a segmented approach, it is important for the Tribe’s concerns to be heard by all the federal decisionmakers – including three different Corps District Commanders and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Corps confirmed that the Tribe’s comments will be included in the record for every federal action that is being considered.
On March 29, the Interior Department’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Larry Roberts, submitted comments to the Corps on the Dakota Access pipeline. These comments stressed the need for a full EIS, particularly to address the interests of the Tribe. With the filing of these comments, all three agencies that the Chairman met with in D.C. – EPA, ACHP and Interior – have now submitted comments strongly supporting the Tribe. We are following up with these agencies to continue to pressaure the Corps to prepare an EIS and to deny all requested permits regarding the pipeline.
The Tribe is also continuing its outreach in several additional ways. The Chairman has written a letter to all the other Chairmen in the Great Plains region seeking their support opposing the pipeline. Further contacts have been made in the environmental community, and the Tribe has endorsed comments submitted by the Sierra Club in opposition to the pipeline. Efforts are gearing up for broader press coverage of the Tribe’s concerns with the pipeline proposal. And, the Chairman has invited Colonel Henderson from the Omaha District to return to the Reservation to have a broader opportunity to hear from the Tribal membership.
We will continue to keep you informed – including by posting key documents on the Tribe’s Facebook page.
On April 1st a spirit camp was established on the Cannonball to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
People have committed to staying in the camp until the pipeline is stopped.
For the donated items please send it too:
Sacred Rock Camp
202 Main Street Fort Yates, ND 58538
Or P. O. Box 670 Fort Yates, ND 58538