As Standing Rock Fact Checker continues to investigate claims made by Dakota Access protestors, what better source to consult than the US Army Corps. Of Engineers’ Environmental Assessment of the Dakota Access.
All projects must receive a comprehensive assessment and an eventual Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) before beginning construction—which Dakota Access did.
The extremely comprehensive document of over 1,000 pages is full of information concerning the project’s due diligence on environmental impact issues.
Some of the relevant information includes an assessment of total water crossings. As you can see from the table below, the route North of Bismarck has 27 more water crossings than the current route.
In an effort to cross bodies of water as infrequently as possible, the Lake Oahe route was significantly preferred. The North Bismarck route would be inherently riskier for populations along the Missouri River.