Erin Mundahl | InsideSources
Months behind schedule, the day has come: The Dakota Access Pipeline will be ready to carry oil as early as Monday and no later than Wednesday. The opening date comes months after the project’s projected completion, but still slightly ahead of the estimate given by Energy Transfer Partners after obtaining the final easement. Although the first DAPL oil shipment is just days away, underlying tensions of the protest continue. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes have continued to fight the pipeline’s opening in court and the state of North Dakota continues to try to find reimbursement for law enforcement costs related to the protest.
Since the Army Corps of Engineers granted the easement under Lake Oahe, Energy Transfer Partners has raced to finish the project and make up for time lost to months of protests. Area tribes fought to the end to halt construction. A second area Sioux tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux, filed a suit alleging that the pipeline violated its religious freedom. The tribe argued that the presence of the pipeline would desecrate the Missouri River, which they consider sacred and use in various religious rituals.
That claim was rejected by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg last week.