Statement: Army Corps’ Reaffirms Dakota Access Pipeline Findings

Last Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers filed its memorandum in response to Judge Boasberg’s remand concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline (Status Report and Memo).

While the information supporting the Corps’ memo is currently being reviewed for confidentiality, we know from the public memo that the supporting documentation is over a 100 pages long. That’s in addition to the thousands of pages of analysis and studies, and hundreds of meetings that key stakeholders – including the federal government – undertook before and during pipeline construction dating as far back as 2014.

The two salient findings from the memo are:

  1. The Corp’s review on remand of the potential impacts of an oil spill to hunting and fishing resources did not reveal any significant impacts because the risk of an incident is low and any impacts to hunting and fishing resource will be of limited scope and duration.
  2. With respect to Environmental Justice, the Corps finds that granting Section 408 permission and conveying a right-of-way to Energy Transfer Partners to construct and operate a portion of the DAPL under federally-owned Corps-managed land does not result in disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, including Tribes, and low-income populations. Further NEPA analysis or any new mitigation beyond the EA/FONSI and the February 8, 2017 Easement conditions not required.

Following is a quote from the GAIN Coalition, which you can attribute to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the Coalition:

“We are heartened by the Army Corps of Engineers findings that the Dakota Access Pipeline was constructed in a manner and along a route that ensured the safest possible means to transport crude oil from the Bakken to markets in the Midwest and beyond.  The pipeline was  studied for more than two years before construction ever began and upheld the most rigorous environmental and archeological standards in the industry.  To date, the pipeline has moved upwards of 200 million barrels of oil safely, and has allowed the Bakken to break production records while helping to provide energy security to our nation.  The Corps’ has long demonstrated its commitment to protecting our nation’s natural resources and a strict adherence to the law and the principles of engineering.  We applaud the hundreds of highly skilled Corps members who supported this effort and thank them for their exceptional work.”

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