Checking the facts once again

1.CLAIM: The pipeline encroaches on indigenous lands.

TRUTH: The Dakota Access Pipeline traverses a path on private property and does not cross into the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation. 100% of landowners in North Dakota voluntarily signed easements to allow for construction of the pipeline on their property.  Nearly the entire route of the 1,172 mile pipeline has been sited and approved by relevant state and federal agencies and more than 22% of the pipeline has already been completed. To the extent possible, the Dakota Access Pipeline was routed to parallel existing infrastructure, such as the Northern Border Pipeline, to avoid environmentally sensitive areas and areas of potential cultural significance.

2. CLAIM: The pipeline exposes the Tribe’s water supply to contamination.

TRUTH: Pipelines are – by far – the safest way to transport energy liquids and gases. Already, 8 pipelines cross the Missouri River carrying hundreds of thousands of barrels of energy products every day.  That includes the Northern Border natural gas pipeline – built in 1982 – that parallels the planned crossing for Dakota Access for 40 miles as well as high voltage transmission power lines.  Once completed, the Dakota Access Pipeline will be among the safest, most technologically advanced pipelines in the world.

In addition, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water intake is scheduled to be moved by the end by of the year.  The Missouri River intake serving the Tribe is being switched to Mobridge, South Dakota, nearly 50 miles south of the current water intake and about 70 miles south of the planned Dakota Access river crossing.

3. CLAIM: The tribal community was not part of the discussion.

TRUTH:  389 meetings took place between the U.S. Army Corps and 55 tribes about the Dakota Access project. In addition the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met individually with the U.S. Army Corps nearly a dozen times to discuss archaeological and other surveys conducted to finalize the Dakota Access route.

Based on input from a number of sources, the pipeline route was adjusted in September 2014, to shorten the pipeline by 11 miles, avoid buildings and other structures, and cross fewer waterways and roads.

4. CLAIM: The pipeline is disrupting areas of cultural significance.

TRUTH: Safeguarding and ensuring the longevity of culturally significant artifacts and sites is of interest to all Americans.   That’s why the Dakota Access Pipeline traverses a path on private property.  And the Dakota Access Pipeline was routed to parallel existing infrastructure, such as the Northern Border Pipeline and high voltage transmission power lines.  Therefore the Dakota Access route has already been under construction twice before.  Designing the route to parallel existing infrastructure mitigates any additional impacts to the environment and avoids areas of potential cultural significance.

Additionally, on site there are professional archeologists who are able to identify and properly tend to artifacts and evidence of culturally significant sites if any not identified by the surveys are discovered.

5. CLAIM: On site protests have been peaceful.

TRUTH: Unfortunately, the emotionally charged atmosphere has led to several outbreaks of violence which has endangered the safety of the workers and the protesters themselves.  Protesters have rushed police lines, threatened and assaulted private security officers, and thrown rocks and bottles at workers.  And let’s remember, the work that is being done is in full accordance with all state and federal regulations and on private property – not on reservation land.

6. CLAIM: A young girl from the Tribe was mauled by a security dog.

TRUTH: This is a doctored photo.  The original is from a June 2012 article from the New York Daily News.