Dakota Access protestors have been highly critical of the pipeline’s proximity to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation – despite the reality that the project does not cross Reservation land at all. According to the Environmental Assessment (EA) conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the “Lake Oahe crossing will be installed via HDD beneath the river from private lands adjacent to Corps owned lands.”
“The Proposed Action and Connected Actions and associated cumulative effects where practicable have been co-located with existing utilities and across USACE easements and fee owned property. The DAPL Project avoids crossing Tribal reservation lands across its entire length. There are no reasonable past, present or reasonably foreseeable actions that together with these Proposed Actions will have a cumulative significant adverse effect on the environment or a disproportionate impact on low income or minority populations, including the Standing Rock Sioux or other tribes in or around the Project.”
The EA further explains that in addition to significantly less water crossings, the original route “was in proximity to and/or crossing multiple conservation easements, habitat management areas, National Wildlife Refuges, state trust lands, waterfowl production areas, and private tribal lands.”
The current route respects tribal owned and will operate “at a distance sufficient such that there are no direct or indirect impacts to Tribal lands, members or protected cultural resources.”
Moreover, as Standing Rock Fact Checker has reported before, the North Bismarck route has 27 more water crossings than the current route—making the current route significantly safer.