On Thursday construction of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline was temporarily halted near the Standing Sioux Reservation.
Cannonball, North Dakota – After two weeks of protests and arrests at the site of construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, local law enforcement announced that the pipeline would be temporarily put on hold. In a press conference on Thursday, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirschmeier explained that the decision was related to safety concerns.
A spokesman for the company that is building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, told The Wall Street Journal that “construction has been halted at the protest site” ahead of a court hearing next Wednesday, but that “it continues elsewhere.”
In July, the environmental group Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, seeking an injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which authorized the pipeline’s construction. “The construction and operation of the pipeline, as authorized by the Corps, threatens the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the tribe,” the lawsuit states.”
Last week protesters were arrested while attempting to block construction of the pipeline. The protesters have come from all around the country in support of the Sacred Stone Camp, which formed in response to the Army Corps of Engineers granting approval permits for construction. The growing protests led North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple to issue an emergency declaration for southwest and south central North Dakota.
The protesters, or protectors as they refer to themselves, are concerned that the pipeline will inevitably have accidental spills which will poison the local water supply. The project is set to cross the Missouri River not far from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The DAPL, alternatively known as the Bakken Pipeline, is owned by Houston, Texas based corporation Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., which created the subsidiary Dakota Access LLC. The pipeline will stretch 1,172 miles upon completion and transport crude oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.
In response to the protesters concerns, Dakota Access LLC said the pipeline would include safety measures such as “leak detection equipment, and workers monitoring the pipeline remotely in Texas could close block valves on it within three minutes if a breach is detected.”
As The Bismarck Tribune reported, “Dakota Access LLC, a partner of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, countered the Standing Rock lawsuit earlier this week by filing a lawsuit against several protesters, alleging threats to the safety of construction workers and law enforcement.” The media has attempted to paint the protectors as violent and made allegations about the presence of pipe bombs. The allegations have not been confirmed and have been adamantly denied by the Sacred Stone Camp.
Despite the temporary halting of activity near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, construction on the Dakota Access pipeline continues elsewhere. As of Saturday afternoon the Sacred Stone Camp was still full of supporters from different nations across the United States. The organization “Up To Us” is also calling for supporters to attend the injunction hearing in Washington D.C. on August 24. The hearing takes place at the U.S. District Court at 333 Constitution Avenue NW in D.C. from 1 to 5 pm.
Stay tuned to Activist Post for updates on the protests and the hearing. I will be reporting live from the Sacred Stone Camp from August 22 to 25.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of two books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion.
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com
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