A new television ad produced by the Lakota People’s Law Project staring anti-pipeline agitator Chase Iron Eyes attempts to sideline basic facts about the nearly complete Dakota Access Pipeline.
CLAIM: The Dakota Access Pipeline was supposed to run 10 miles north of Bismarck, North Dakota, but was rerouted away from the city But when regulators saw it posed a threat to Bismarck’s water supply they
WHAT’S FALSE: The pipeline’s current route, which crosses Lake Oahe north of the Standing Rock Reservation, was always the intended and preferred route. An alternative crossing north of Bismarck was considered early in the routing phase of the project, but was eliminated as viable option following greater review.
As noted in the Army Corps of Engineers’ Environmental Assessment (EA), the preferred crossing at Lake Oahe avoids tribal land and is co-located with an existing natural gas pipeline, while the alternative route north of Bismarck would have extended the length of the pipeline by approximately 11-miles, resulting in 165 additional acres of impact and 27 more road, waterbody, and wetland crossings.
CLAIM: The law requires a complete Environmental Impact Statement for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
WHAT’S FALSE: Federal law requires that an Environmental Impact Statement be completed only if the EA determines that the environmental impacts of a proposed action will be significant. If the EA concludes that the proposed action will result in no significant impacts, then a Finding of No Significant Impact or FONSI is published.
In the case of Dakota Access, the Corps prepared and released a draft EA for the Lake Oahe Crossing on December 8, 2015 and, after reviewing comments received, published a final EA and FONSI July 25, 2016, concluding that the proposed action “is not injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the federal projects.”