Feds block route of Dakota Access pipeline in ND - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Feds block route of Dakota Access pipeline in ND

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota.

6:50 p.m.
    
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, whose department has done much of the policing for the Dakota Access pipeline protests, says "local law enforcement does not have an opinion" on the Army Corps of Engineers' decision not to grant an easement for the project.
    
Kirchmeier says the sheriff's department's role "is to enforce the law" and that it "will continue to do so."
    
The Army Corps announced Sunday that it will not allow the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.
    
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5:35 p.m.
    
Hundreds of demonstrators near the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp broke into cheers and chanted "water is life" in the Lakota Sioux language as news spread that the federal government won't grant an easement for the project in southern North Dakota.
    
Some in the crowd banged drums.
    
Miles Allard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said he was pleased by the decision but remained cautious, saying opponents of the pipeline "don't know what Trump is going to do."
    
Allard says he's been telling his people "to stand up and not to leave until this is over."
    
Carla Youngbear of the Meskwaki Potawatomi tribe traveled from central Kansas to be at the protest site. She says she has grandchildren and is going to have great-grandchildren who will need water and that's why she was there.
    
___
    
4:55 p.m.
    
The Morton County Sheriff's Office says that it has lifted the blockade on a bridge north of the large Dakota Access oil pipeline protest encampment.
    
In a statement, it said that it won't be near the bridge as long as protesters stick to the conditions outlined on Saturday, including only coming to the bridge for predetermined meetings with law enforcement.
    
The release did not comment on the U.S. Army Corps' decision to not grant an easement for the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir from which the Standing Rock Sioux tribe gets its drinking water.
    
The large Oceti Sakowin camp is south of the Backwater Bridge, and several hundred people are camped there.
    
___
    
4:15 p.m.
    
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that the Department of Justice will still monitor the protest in North Dakota and is ready to "provide resources" for those who "can play a constructive role in easing tensions."
    
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday afternoon that the four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline cannot be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.
    
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement that the Corps' decision "is a serious mistake," ''prolongs the serious problems" that law enforcement faces and "prolongs the dangerous situation" of people camping in cold, snowy conditions.
    
The federal government has ordered the several hundred people at the main encampment, which is on Corps land, by Monday. Lynch said in a statement that the safety of those in the area, including officers, residents and protesters, "continues to be our foremost concern."
    
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4:10 p.m.
    
North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer says that the Army Corps' decision not to grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline is "a very chilling signal" for the future of infrastructure in the U.S.
    
Cramer said in a statement that infrastructure will be hard to build "when criminal behavior is rewarded this way," apparently referring to the large protest encampment on federal land and the clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement.
    
The Corps said Sunday afternoon that the pipeline cannot be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.
    
The route has been the subject of months of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others, who have argued the pipeline threatens a water source and cultural sites.
    
Cramer also said that "law and order" will be restored when Donald Trump takes office and that he feels bad for the Corps having to do "diligent work ... only to have their Commander-in-Chief throw them under the bus."
    
___
    
4 p.m.
    
The Secretary of the Interior says the Army Corps' decision to not grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline "ensures there will be an in-depth evaluation of alternative routes."
    
Sally Jewell also said in a statement that the decision "underscores that tribal rights ... are essential components of the analysis" for the environmental impact statement.
    
The Corps said Sunday afternoon that the pipeline cannot be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.
    
The route has been the subject of months of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others, who have argued the pipeline threatens a water source and cultural sites.
    
The company constructing the pipeline, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, and the Morton County Sheriff's Office didn't have immediate comment.
    
___
    
3:45 p.m.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it won't grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota.
    
Corps spokeswoman Moria Kelley said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.
    
Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said her decision was based on the need to "explore alternate routes" for the pipeline's crossing.
    
The route has been the subject of months of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others, who have argued the pipeline threatens a water source and cultural sites.
    
The company constructing the pipeline, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, and the Morton County Sheriff's Office didn't have immediate comment.
    
The federal government has ordered people to leave the main encampment, which is on Army Corps of Engineers' land and is close to the construction site, by Monday.
    
Demonstrators say they're prepared to stay, and federal, state and local authorities say they won't forcibly remove the protesters.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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