Fact Check: Meaningful consultation
One of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s many claims is that, “permits for the project were approved and construction began without meaningful consultation.”
However, according to court documents, the allegation simply doesn’t stand up. As the US Army Corps. of Engineers has repeatedly stated…
“The Corps engaged in a robust consultation process following Dakota Access’s transmission of its survey results. See Tribal Consultation Spreadsheet (noting 389 instances of tribal meetings and communications) (Ex. 9). As discussed above, the Corps’ consultation process with Plaintiff involved at least nine meetings, some of which were site visits, and many of which were attended by the Commanding Officer of the Omaha District and one of which was attended by Id. The quantity and quality of these consultations renders Plaintiff’s claim that the Corps failed to consult in a “reasonable and good faith manner,” Pl.’s Br. 31, without merit.”
Moreover, there were 7 instances where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chose not to participate whatsoever in the consultation process
“Plaintiff had months to review these reports and provide comments at the seven meetings between January 22, 2016 and April 29, 2016. Tribal Consultation Spreadsheet (Ex. 9). Plaintiff declined to provide comments on these reports other than to demand a complete resurvey of the entire pipeline route. The Corps provided Plaintiff with a reasonable opportunity to evaluate properties within the Corps’ jurisdiction, articulate its concerns regarding those properties, and resolve those concerns. This process demonstrably led to successful mitigation and rerouting of this very pipeline.”
As you can see the USACE and Dakota Access officials made every effort to bring Native groups into the consultation process, but clearly to no avail.