from the considering-the-other-side dept.
A federal judge ruled [June 14] that the Trump administration must conduct additional environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline, handing a limited victory to Native American tribes fighting the administration's decision to move forward with the project.
In an extensive opinion,[PDF] Washington, DC District Court Judge James Boasberg sided with the tribes by agreeing the Army Corps of Engineers "did not consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, human rights, or environmental justice."
[...] Boasberg did not order a shutdown of operations on the pipeline, which began pumping oil early this month. The tribes and pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners are ordered to appear in court next week to decide next legal steps, and the tribes are expected to argue for a full shutdown of pipeline operations.
 Link in article redirects.
Dakota Access Pipeline Suffers Oil Leak Even Before Becoming Operational
Recent News Dispatches From Standing Rock (DAPL)
Army Corp of Engineers Now Accepting Public Comment on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Army Corps of Engineers Blocks the Dakota Access Pipeline
Standing Rock Protester May Lose Her Arm Because of Police Grenades
Water Cannons Used in Sub-Freezing Temperatures at Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Protest
Standing Rock Protestors Gassed and Attacked; Bundy Gang Acquitted [Updated]
Journalist Charged in North Dakota with Rioting; Case is Dismissed
Amy Goodman, host of the New York City-based leftist news programme Democracy Now! was charged with criminal trespass by the North Dakota state's attorney (prosecutor). The charge was changed to riot, then was dismissed due to lack of evidence when Goodman appeared in court on Monday. The charges stemmed from her presence at a protest in September against construction of the Dakota Access (Bakken) oil pipeline, after the protest was reported on her show.
- Ars Technica
- Democracy Now!
- Democracy Now! (with video and transcript)
- New York Times
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed
- The Nation (prior to dismissal)
Catholic Online reports
On Thursday [October 27], the Bundy gang of ranchers who took over a federal building in Oregon and led a 41-day standoff were acquitted on all charges. At least five of the seven surviving militia members will now walk free from federal custody as a result. Ammon Bundy will not be released however because he still faces charges in Nevada over the standoff at his father's ranch two years ago. His brother, Ryan Bundy also remains in custody. An eighth member of their gang was killed by police when the standoff drew to an end.
[...]The Bundy gang also staged their occupation on sacred Native American land. This cannot be condoned; it would be like legitimizing the armed takeover of a parish church.
[...]At the same time the Bundy gang was being acquitted, heavily armed paramilitary-police moved into the crowds at Cannonball, North Dakota gassing and arresting protesters. The key difference in this case is [that] the protesters in North Dakota are peaceful and unarmed.
[...] During Thursday's protest, a fire broke out at the site and police moved in with riot gear and military-grade armored vehicles. They attacked the crowd with tear gas, a sound cannon, batons, and bean-bag ammunition. Police are evicting the protesters by force to make way for the pipeline's construction. Protesters have built barricades to keep authorities at bay.
Peoples World continues
Authorities used rubber-coated steel bullets, concussion grenades, tear gas, and water cannons against unarmed protesters near the Dakota Access oil pipeline in 26°F (-3°C) temperatures over the weekend.
Indian Country Today reports
"We have seen four gunshot wounds, three of them to the face and head", said Leland Brenholt, a volunteer medic.
[...]400 protesters, or "water protectors", attempted to dismantle a police-enforced barricade on State Highway 1806.
[...]"Water protectors are done with the military-style barricades. We are done with the floodlights and the armored military trucks. We are are done with it!" declared organizer, Dallas Goldtooth in a mid-evening Facebook post.
Their action was met with the same militarized response that the Morton County Sheriff's Department has demonstrated on protesters for weeks: the use of armored trucks, less-than-lethal ammunition, tear-gas, mace, and on this below-freezing night, water cannons.
[...]Reports from a coalition of advocacy groups near Standing Rock report hundreds of water protectors were receiving treatment for contamination by tear gas, hypothermia, and blunt traumas as a result of rubber bullets. One person, an elder, was reportedly revived after suffering cardiac arrest, organizers said.
"As medical professionals, we are concerned for the real risk of loss of life due to severe hypothermia under these conditions," read a statement from the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.
A more measured take is available from the AP.
On 20 November 2016, the Dakota Access pipeline protests reached new proportions when an ongoing demonstration turned into a violent [assault on protesters by] law enforcement officials.
Pipeline protesters say 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky was critically injured when she was struck with a concussion grenade thrown by Morton County sheriff's deputies while she was handing out water. As a result, she has been hospitalized and now faces the prospect of having her left arm amputated.
On 21 November 2016, Wilansky's father, Wayne Wilansky, [...] told reporters that she may need as many as 20 surgeries and that, aside from her arm injury, Sophia had welts all over her body from being shot by rubber[-coated steel] bullets, and that it took hours for an ambulance to reach her because of roadblocks.
A statement from The Standing Rock Medic & Healing Council stated:
"Sophia was heading to bring water to the unarmed people who were being attacked for several hours by Morton County Sheriff forces. The Morton County Sheriff's Department has stated that she was injured by a purported propane explosion that the Sheriff's Department claimed the unarmed people created.
"These statements are refuted by Sophia's testimony, by several eye-witnesses who watched police intentionally throw concussion grenades at unarmed people, by the lack of charring of flesh at the wound site, and by the grenade pieces that have been removed from her arm in surgery and will be saved for legal proceedings."
Snopes also notes:
A total of 26 protesters were hospitalized and more than 300 were injured.
According to an article at Snopes.com:
The Army Corps of Engineers has denied the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline, according Colonel Henderson, who notified Veterans for Standing Rock co-organizer Michael A. Wood Jr on 4 December 2016.
More than 3,000 veterans had converged at the Standing Rock camp to support the Sioux in their ongoing opposition to the building of a $3.7 billion pipeline that would cross through disputed land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Wood said upon learning of the move, "This is history."
From a report in Al Jazeera :
The US Army Corps of Engineers has turned down a permit for a controversial pipeline project running through North Dakota, in a victory for Native Americans and climate activists who have protested against the project for several months, according to a statement released.
The 1,885km Dakota Access Pipeline, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, had been complete except for a segment planned to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.
"The Army will not grant an easement to cross Lake Oahe at the proposed location based on the current record," a statement from the US Army said.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, along with climate activists, have been protesting the $3.8bn project, saying it could contaminate the water supply and damage sacred tribal lands.
[...] "Today, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline," said Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II, in a statement.
"Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes."
The Army Corp of Engineers is now accepting public comment until February 20th regarding the permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
You may mail or hand deliver written comments to Mr. Gib Owen, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, 108 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-0108. Advance arrangements will need to be made to hand deliver comments. Please include your name, return address, and "NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline Crossing" on the first page of your written comments. Comments may also be submitted via email to Mr. Gib Owen, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If emailing comments, please use "NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline Crossing" as the subject of your email.
The location of all public scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through a notice to be published in the local North Dakota newspaper (The Bismarck Tribune) and online at https://www.army.mil/?asacw.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Gib Owen, Water Resources Policy and Legislation, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Washington, DC 20310-0108; telephone: (703) 695-6791; email: email@example.com.
The proposed crossing of Lake Oahe by Dakota Access, LLC is approximately 0.5 miles upstream of the northern boundary of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation. The Tribe protests the crossing primarily because it relies on Lake Oahe for water for a variety of purposes, the Tribe's reservation boundaries encompass portions of Lake Oahe downstream from the proposed crossing, and the Tribe retains water, treaty fishing, and hunting rights in the Lake.
The proposed crossing of Corps property requires the granting of a right-of-way (easement) under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), 30 U.S.C. 185. To date, the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant the easement pursuant to the MLA. The Army intends to prepare an EIS to consider any potential impacts to the human environment that the grant of an easement may cause.
Specifically, input is desired on the following three scoping concerns:
(1) Alternative locations for the pipeline crossing the Missouri River;
(2) Potential risks and impacts of an oil spill, and potential impacts to Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's water intakes, and the Tribe's water, treaty fishing, and hunting rights; and
(3) Information on the extent and location of the Tribe's treaty rights in Lake Oahe.
Those wishing to submit comments opposing the pipeline can do so directly at the email address listed above, or use web pages setup to do so by the following groups:
Likewise, if you support the pipeline you can comment as well and respond to the questions asked via email or letter to the addresses listed above.
The Guardian reports that the U.S. Army sent a letter, dated 7 February, to member of Congress Raúl Grijalva, saying it would grant a permit for the construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Work could resume as early as 8 February.
"I have determined that there is no cause for completing any additional environmental analysis," wrote Douglas W Lamon, the senior official performing the duties of assistant secretary of the army, wrote in a notice to the federal register.
More recent news in Standing Rock from Feb 9:
The restarting of the drilling operation, which a pipeline spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday morning, began soon after the US government gave the oil corporation the green light to proceed on Wednesday. The controversial pipeline could be transporting crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois within three months.
At the Standing Rock camps in Cannon Ball – where activists have been stationed since last spring to fight the project – indigenous and environmental organizers vowed to stay put and continue opposing the pipeline.
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
The Dakota Access pipeline already had its first leak – 84 gallons of oil – at a pump station in South Dakota in early April, sparking outrage and calling into question its environmental safety.
[...] The report of the spill can be found on the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources website. The agency apparently did not make any official announcement on the incident as it was relatively minor and had no environmental impact, according to Brian Walsh, a scientist with the department, as cited by the Guardian. The site "was cleaned up right away," the official added as quoted by ABC news.
The spill occurred less than 110 miles from Lake Oahe, which supplies Sioux tribes with water.
Keystone Pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota
"A total of 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday (Nov 16, 2017) from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota, the pipeline's operator, TransCanada, said.
Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning, and officials are investigating the cause of the leak, which occurred about three miles southeast of the town of Amherst, said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota, Walsh said. The leak comes just days before Nebraska officials announce a decision on whether the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, a sister project, can move forward."
Keystone pipeline - major leak/spill
Elsewhere there are notes of smaller spills in the same pipeline--this AC submitter is wondering about the long term use of a pipeline that is leaking when it's nearly brand new. Doesn't sound good for the long term.
PBS has a followup article from today (Saturday), 'We need to know' more about Keystone oil pipeline leak, tribal chairman says
The leak comes as the debate over the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline rages on. Nebraska's Public Service Commission is scheduled to announce its decision Monday on whether to permit TransCanada to build Keystone XL along its proposed route in the state, the Omaha World-Herald reported. A spokeswoman for the commission told the AP that the board's members will only use information provided during public hearings and official public comments in order to make their decision.
US District Court: Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law
Dakota Access Pipeline Suffers Oil Leak Even Before Becoming Operational
Company Behind Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Sues Greenpeace