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After Trump Executive Order, Army Clears Way for Dakota Pipeline

After Trump Executive Order, Army Clears Way for Dakota Pipeline”

The Army is involved in pipeline approval under the river because the Army Corps of Engineers manages the river and its system of hydroelectric dams, which is owned by the federal government.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on Tuesday granted a final easement on a last water crossing, which has been turned into a national cause for Native American and environmental interests.

Two men gathered around a wood stove said they were discouraged by the setback but hoped demonstrations in other parts of the country would galvanize the opposition.

North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is expected to challenge the granting of the easement in court.

Acting Army Secretary Robert Speer on Tuesday ordered a review of the Army's earlier decision not to grant permission until more study was done.

Jan Hasselman, an attorney with Earthjustice who represents the Standing Rock Sioux, says via email the tribe will challenge the USA government in court.

Thousands of protesters, including members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, have camped at Standing Rock to stop the building of the line.

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An assessment conducted past year determined the river crossing would not have a significant effect on the environment.

Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now, a pro-fossil fuel industry group, disputed most pipeline opponents' points, calling Trump's memorandum proof of his "commitment to supporting domestic energy development".

Lawyers for the company reportedly said in court Monday that construction would be completed in about 60 days and oil could be flowing in about 83.

The Army is waiving the usual 14-day waiting period it usually adheres to after notifying Congress, and plans on issuing the easement to Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline, within 24 hours.

Protesters have stayed near the Dakota Access pipeline site during the winter.

In December, the Army Corps halted construction, saying it wouldn't green-light the final permits for the project until further environmental review was provided. Trump's reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and violation of Treaty rights.

But in recent days, one camp founder, Ladonna Bravebull Allard, has publicly criticized Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault.

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The move is nearly certain to spark a legal battle and could lead to clashes at camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, where hundreds of protesters are still camped out in opposition to the project.

Standing Rock tribe members "deserve human dignity and a healthy future". Sympathizers staged protests in cities across the US, including San Francisco.

"The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight - it is the new beginning", Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said in a statement.

Native Americans expect nothing good from Trump. This is the first time the Army Corps has placed a timeline on the decision.

Energy Transfer Partners surged on news of the impending approval.

"The basis for this decision is well-established", D'Angelo said. Support is also strong.

The Army said Tuesday that it would allow the pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

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