Native American Tribes Call For A Major Review of Dakota Access Pipeline

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Native American Tribes Call For A Major Review of Dakota Access Pipeline

Fri, 09/24/2021 - 08:44
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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, South Dakota on the map (copyright by Shutterstock/SevenMaps)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, South Dakota on the map (copyright by Shutterstock/SevenMaps)

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which entered into service in 2017 by Energy Transfer after months of protests by Native American Tribes, is the subject of a new initiative by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, et al., to re-examine the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for bias.

"Our participation in the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) process and review of the initial draft reveals that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering Corps has fundamentally misunderstood the courts' directive and the requirements of the law," the tribes said in the letter addressed to Jaime Pinkham, acting assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

Further, the tribes are demanding that the Biden administration "bring in the U.S. Department of the Interior as a co-equal cooperating agency with appropriate expertise to assist the Corps in centering Tribal impacts and concerns which motivated this EIS in the first place."

Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the same firm that was tasked with conducting environmental impact statements for DAPL, Keystone XL and TransCanada pipelines, is a member of the American Petroleum Institute — an oil-industry association that previously backed DAPL operator Energy Transfer with an amicus brief in litigation concerning the pipeline. In addition to this conflict-of-interest, Tribal leaders noted that an early draft of the environmental impact statement is filled with errors, omissions, and misstatements.

The Chairmen of the various tribes said "“given ERM’s inherent bias, it is no wonder that the draft EIS largely ignores the last five years of history and the thousands of pages of detailed technical and cultural material shared by the Tribes.”

In July, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration flagged a list of safety regulations Energy Transfer had violated, raising additional concerns that the infrastructure — which continues to operate without a valid federal permit — could cause a major oil spill. Nevertheless, Energy Transfer recently made modifications doubling its capacity to transport oil.

Comments

Submitted by Arbo Doughty (not verified) on Sun, 09/26/2021 - 17:48 Permalink

ERM is the bottom-feeder of environmental consultants. Their project manager for the DAPL EIS, a former FERC project manager, has numerous conflicts of interest, including oversight of pipeline EISs on which her husband was a consultant to the pipeline company. ERM also signed off on a white paper they prepared advocating for projects in the Marcellus Shale. The company frequently testifies as an expert witness on behalf of the oil and gas industry...and yep..they are listed as a member of API. They also did the hatchet job EIS for Keystone XL. But the industry loves them. Too bad they don't know what "independent third-party contractor" actually means.

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