The U.S. Army granted a 30-year easement that will allow the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to be completed. The $3.7 billion project spurred protests at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota last year. The reservation is less than a mile from the pipeline route. Army officials said they will cut off an environmental impact study of the 1,170-mile route that will cross four states.
The acceleration of the pipeline’s approvals came after President Trump signed an executive order directing “the acting secretary of the Army to expeditiously review requests for approvals to construct and operate the Dakota Access Pipeline in compliance with the law." The move reverses the Obama administration’s decision to halt construction just months ago.
“The move will allow for the completion of the last mile and a half of the 1,172-mile project, connecting oil production areas in North Dakota to a crude oil terminal near Patoka, Ill. The pipeline is owned by Energy Transfer Partners,” according to the New York Times. “Construction of the route has become a global rallying point for environmental and tribal activism, drawing thousands of people to a sprawling protest camp and sometimes prompting clashes with authorities.”
When complete, the pipeline will carry 470,000 barrels of oil a day.