The Dakota Access pipeline is a $3.8 billion project that will run underground through four states, including Iowa, to bring crude oil from North Dakota to IL for Houston-based Dakota Access LLC.
According to a deed filed with officials in Morton County, North Dakota, David and Brenda Meyer sold 20 parcels of land totaling more than 6000 acres to Dakota Access this week.
The U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Interior and the Department of the Army halted construction of the pipeline on Army Corps of Engineers land bordering or under Lake Oahe.
In a memo obtained by Common Dreams earlier this week, Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren wrote that his firm is "committed to completing construction and safely operating the Dakota Access Pipeline within the confines of the law".
At issue, said the organizers, is the "alleged potential contamination from an oil transport pipeline planned to cross under the Missouri River".
"Obviously, we want to see this decided as quickly as possible", said former North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon, who is representing the tribes. The underground pipeline would traverse both federally-managed and private lands in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and IL.
The land includes a plot along the pipeline route where protesters and the company have clashed in recent weeks. "If constructed, this pipeline will continue to encourage oil consumption that causes climate change, all the while harming those populations who contributed little to this crisis". Announced in 2014, supporters said the pipeline would create more markets and reduce truck and oil train traffic - the latter of which has been a growing concern after a spate of fiery derailments of trains carrying North Dakota crude.
Vogel suggested Dakota Access may be trying to avoid archaeological surveys, which have been a point of contention between the pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
"Thousands have gathered peacefully in Standing Rock in solidarity against the pipeline", Archambault told commission members. The construction crews, flanked by private security and canine squads, arrived just hours after the Standing Rock Sioux tribal lawyers disclosed the location of the recently discovered site in federal court filings.
"We are investigating these claims and are taking this very seriously", she said. It is unclear what Energy Transfer Partners intends to do with the property.