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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday February 02 2017, @06:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the betcha-there-will-be-more-than-a-couple dept.

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 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

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:

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:

Action Network

Sierra Club

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.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday February 04 2017, @01:02AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 04 2017, @01:02AM (#462684) Journal

    In this case I disagree entirely. We have a number of alternative options that have been actively suppressed by energy companies for decades, and from all reports it sounds like this pipeline is not necessary to our energy security. The big upside of this pipeline is profit for a select few and a small number of jobs to build / support the pipe. Not exactly a crushing national emergency.

    Well, no energy infrastructure is necessary to "energy security". So why not get rid of it all? You're committing the fallacy of considering a component in isolation rather than as part of a whole.

    Second, so what if it doesn't have your desired level or perception of value? The upside you mention, even if that were truly all there was, would be sufficient. I think it would be disastrous to prohibit all human activities that don't have value as decided by some dude on the internet.

    So the incident rate for trains is higher, but the actual amount of oil spilled is much lower.

    While it is interesting how the pro-pipeline side dances around this, it's not as good as you present. First, pipelines transport oil further on average, resulting in a signficantlybetter ratio [] of 1.25 gallons per billion barrel-miles for pipelines versus 1.13 per billion barrel-miles for rail (over the period 1990-2009). The same document makes the case that a more recent ten year period saw a much better ratio (0.88 gallons per billion barrel-miles for pipeline versus 0.38 for rail).

    Sounds nice but it glosses over a number of important things. First, pipeline has far greater capacity than rail and is cheaper both in terms of cost and energy to move that oil. For example, it is claimed that rail is operating at capacity in Alberta from the oil being produced there. Second, it is safer despite your above observation. A number of people have died in rail accidents including 47 people in a single accident [] in Quebec. An energetic train derailment of oil-filled tank cars in a town or city is more dangerous than an oil spill in an area (such as a pipeline's surroundings or the end points of the pipeine) designed to contain the oil spill and isolated from human habitation.

    Finally, most oil pipelines are far older than rail cars. 55% [] of currently used oil and gas pipelines were built before 1970. Meanwhile most rail cars have a mandated lifespan of 40 years. So when you're comparing the hazards of rail to pipeline, you're mostly comparing relatively new and improved tank cars to a pipeline environment where at least 55% of the pipelines are considerably older than a rail car can be. Sorry, a new pipeline following modern regulations isn't going to have the same failure rate as a grandfathered 1969 pipeline. Not even when it'll be 48 years old.