"The Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and issue the easement".
"While the EIS is exactly what we called for, we must ensure that it fully takes into consideration tribal treaty rights, natural resources, cultural and sacred places, socio-economical concerns, and environmental justice", read a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux after the comment period opened on January 18. Darcy is no longer in the position after the change in administrations. Army Corps of Engineers has been instructed to sign off on the critical easement under Lake Oahe.
John Hoeven says the Acting Secretary of the Army has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with an easement necessary to complete the Dakota Access pipeline.
Gen. Malcolm Frost, chief of public affairs, said the pipeline is still under review even though North Dakota Republican Sen.
According to the Washington Times, many of those who have traveled to demonstrate against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been paid for their time. The Corps must review the Presidential Memorandum, notify Congress, and actually grant the easement. Hasselman said he expects the easement to be issued "soon", but probably not before next week.
"For months, North Dakotans have been on edge over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protests surrounding it, and for months they have faced uncertainty and delays on the ultimate fate of the project, while constant disruptions took a toll on the sense of safety and security of communities near the construction", she said. Hoeven released the statement after meeting with Speer and Vice President Mike Pence.
Standing Rock Sioux have vowed to fight any efforts to withdraw the Environmental Impact Statement in court.
However, then-Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy on December 4 declined to issue an easement, saying a broader environmental study was warranted. President Donald Trump signed an executive order signaling his support for the project a week ago.
Thousands of Native Americans, environmental activists and their allies have camped out near the Standing Rock reservation for months to protest the project, making it one of the largest Native American demonstrations in decades.
Members of the tribe have argued that the 1,172-mile pipeline would damage the water supply and desecrate land the tribe considers sacred.