By Riamy Beuscher, communications intern
The Dakota Access pipeline is an 1,100 mile pipeline created to transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil coming from the Bakken and Three Forks oil fields each day. The pipeline will span four states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Currently, trains transport the majority of that oil. Those in support of the pipeline claim transporting oil this way is safer than by train.
Dakota Access LLC began construction on the pipeline in 2016. Members of Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation are against construction of the pipeline for many reasons. The pipeline’s construction raises several concerns. First, any oil spill puts water supplies from the Missouri River at risk. Second, construction sites put sacred archaeological and burial sites at risk. Finally, the Standing Rock Sioux claim they were never consulted during the pipeline planning process.
By law, when construction projects are considered, a reasonable and good faith effort must be made to identify Indian tribes that attach significance to the land.
The contested site where protesters have set up a blockade is a staging area that crews would use to drill beneath the Missouri River, just one half mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation.
Protesters now demand that an environmental impact statement be reviewed thoroughly before construction continues at Lake Oahe. Meanwhile, construction has moved forward at other locations.
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