Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe addresses the media at the #IndigenousRising round dance in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com / Available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Environment | Opinion

Harold Frazier: The Dakota Access Pipeline isn't supposed to leak

Dakota Access Pipeline spill in Spink County, South Dakota
By Harold Frazier
Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Just a couple of weeks ago Dakota Access Pipeline had a failure that resulted in an oil spill in Spink County, South Dakota.

This pipeline was promised to be so safe that the possibility of an oil leak was astronomical. This makes me wonder if the people who built this pipeline looks upon the same stars or live on the same planet. Not only are their astronomical predictions wrong but they have so very little concern for this planet that it cannot be the same one in which we reside.

Energy Transfer Partners is the company that is bringing this dangerous pipeline to our territory and has spilled millions of gallons of contaminated material into an area which is supposed to be protected from just kind of pollution in the state of Ohio. This caused them to be shut down in the whole state of Ohio!

The spill here in South Dakota happened on a portion of pipeline that could be easily spotted because it was above ground. The fact that this pipeline is not even in operation and is already registering spills has me worried about the safety of pipeline.

What is happening underground? I have no confidence in the ability of anyone associated with this pipeline to keep our water safe.

This incident should reinforce the idea that a true Environmental Impact Study is necessary to determine the true impact to our environment. Even then a study of something so dangerous to our future prospects should be conducted by experts and not by the people who want the short-term profits at the sacrifice of our long-term health.

We cannot look our children in the eyes today and tell them we are making this world better for them if we do not continue to oppose this kind of dangerous activities.

Anyone who is willing to use force to get their way is also willing to lie to protect themselves.

Harold Frazier serves as the chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, based in South Dakota. The tribe is asking a federal judge to set aside the Trump administration's approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline in order to conduct a more thorough environmental review of the project.