Thousands of tribal citizens and allies marched through the streets of Washington, D.C, for Native Nations Rise on March 10,
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Corps of Engineers challenged
Lakota Law Project alleges misconduct
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. –– On April 6, the Lakota People’s Law Project entreated the public to support an initiative providing congressional oversight on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ alleged misconduct in approving the Missouri River crossing for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) launched the initiative with an official letter April 3 to Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the Corps’ commanding general and chief of engineers. The missive mainly questions transparency in the permit process and requires full documentation of it.
“To our knowledge, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has presented no evidence that it has considered alternatives to protect the water supplies of the tribes, or the nearly 17 million people who live downstream, should this pipeline leak and contaminate the water supply,” said the letter from the ranking members of the of the Senate committees on the Environment & Public Works and Energy & Natural Resources.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has garnered support from more than 300 other tribal governments, as well as thousands of organizations and individuals worldwide, for its ongoing 2015 lawsuit against the Corps over lack of consultation on sacred water and sites in the permitting process.
“Now, we must persist because our message has, at last, begun to change minds at the highest levels of government,” said Standing Rock Sioux tribal member Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel at the Lakota People’s Law Project, based in Santa Cruz, California.
“Please continue to stand with our #NoDAPL struggle by demanding the army comply with the senators who wish to safeguard my people and our Grandmother Earth,” Iron Eyes said in an open letter. “Let us not accept the executive branch’s collusion in the desecration of the sacred by another careless oil company.”
#NoDapl is a phrase, or hashtag, that social media networks participants utilize to access Internet information on the topic of resistance to the pipeline.
The line is a project of Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco Logistics Partners, Phillips 66, Enbridge Corp., and Marathon Oil Corp., which took out some $3.7 million in bank loans to building the nearly 1,200-mile toxic fracked oil pipeline.
Its route runs from the Bakken Formation, centered at the Mandan Hidatsa & Arikara Nation, through Lakota Territory in North and South Dakota, crossing the Missouri River half a mile upstream from Standing Rock’s drinking water intake, before heading on through Iowa, and spanning the Mississippi River into Illinois.
Previous U.S. President Barack Obama’s Administration pledged the Corps of Engineers to answer tribal demands for an environmental impact statement before issuing the permit.
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Corps of Engineers challenged
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