GAIN Celebrates Six-year Anniversary of DAPL’s Initial Approval by the Army Corps

Today, July 25th, marks the six-year anniversary of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ approval of the permits necessary to finish construction of the Dakota Access pipeline project in areas under federal jurisdiction. The USACE decision to allow DAPL to be built far below the riverbed of the Missouri River followed a comprehensive and exhaustive environmental review, which concluded that the project would have No Significant Impact based on an Environmental Assessment (EA).

Colonel John Henderson, the Omaha district commander, wrote in 2016, “I have evaluated the anticipated environmental, economic, cultural, and social effects, and any cumulative effects” of the river crossing and found it is “not injurious to the public interest.” The 1,261-page report announcing the initial approval said of the public review process at the time that, “no significant comments remain unresolved.”

Since project completion in 2017, DAPL has been safely transporting American-sourced energy from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, moving some 570,000 barrels of oil a day. Every day that oil is carried through the pipeline, the equivalent of 3,000 tanker trucks are removed from the road. 

The following statement can be attributed to Colonel (ret.) Tom Magness, former ­Commander with the US Army Corps of Engineers, and strategic advisor for Grow American Infrastructure Now (GAIN):

“As a former commander in the Army Corps of Engineers, I understand the diligent process that the Agency undertakes when assessing these types of projects. The rigor of the previous review of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and its strong safety record since commercial operations began in 2017, are testimony to the dedication of those charged with oversight in these matters. The project has undergone multiple reviews and has been approved each time. Energy infrastructure is key to the revitalization of American energy independence. More infrastructure projects such as these are necessary in order for the U.S to increase pipeline capacity, lower consumer prices at the pump, and support our allies across the world via exports, and we have a proven regulatory process to help achieve those goals.” 

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