Despite the announcement from the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Dakota Access pipeline’s final easement, the MAIN Coalition would like to highlight and commend the truly fantastic work executed by Colonel Henderson and his staff.
For over two years, Col. Henderson worked tirelessly planning and permitting the hundreds of miles of pipeline in his division. This herculean effort was conducted with respect, precision, and essentially overnight, this work was disregarded.
As made clear in an NBC report, Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo Ellen Darcy ignored Henderson’s recommendation to issue the easement for reasons we can only assume were politically-driven. According to the report, “an Army Corps of Engineers official said that they fully support the Army’s decision but confirmed that they did recommend that the pipeline construction be allowed.
Retired Army Major General James Marks argues that Henderson and his staff conducted themselves appropriately and it is a shame their work has been ignored. According to Marks, “the Corps used appropriate methods for issuing [the approvals], and Col. Henderson went beyond the minimum legal requirements to make sure tribal leaders were consulted throughout the process.”
Despite MAIN’s frustration with the current state of affairs in North Dakota, it is important for everyone to recognize that Colonel Henderson and his staff have proven their commitment to the legal process and professionalism.