The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers served notice Tuesday that it will issue an easement to allow completion of construction of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline under Lake Oahe near the Missouri River.
The filing in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia gives notice to Transfer Access Partners that it will get the permission it needs to complete the 1,172-mile project that will transport oil from the Dakotas to refineries in Patoka, Illinois.
The pipeline has been the center of massive protests by Native Americans and environmental opponents who contend the pipeline with damage sacred and culturally significant sites to Native Americans and risk contamination of a major source of drinking water where it crosses the Missouri River.
In December, the Department of the Army withheld the final easement necessary for construction under the lake and began an environmental review. When President Donald Trump came to office is advised the Corps to speed up its project review and favored completion of the pipeline.
The pipeline will cut the cost of shipping North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil to refiners and have a capacity of 470,000 barrels of oil a day.
The one-page statement announced the Army Corp’s intent to notify Congress that it will grant an easement to Dakota Access to complete the pipelne and comply with the President’s order.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 16-cv-1534