Attorneys for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said that the US Army Corps of Engineers’ easement for the Dakota Access pipeline cannot legally be granted.
Earlier on Tuesday the Army Corps of Engineers notified the US Congress that it intended to end the environmental impact statement in connection with the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Acting US Army Secretary Robert Speer announced that this termination means the military has made a decision to grant the final easement required for developers to finish work on building the potentially environmentally-hazardous pipeline on government land in North Dakota.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault criticized the announcement in a press release, saying that the environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated.
“This pipeline was unfairly rerouted across treaty lands,” he claimed, adding that the indigenous tribe plans to challenge Dakota Access easement in court.
Standing Rock Sioux announced that they will continue the fight to protect their “water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through.”
The pipeline is currently about 85 percent finished. If it is completed, it will transport domestically-produced crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa, into Illinois.
For months, the Standing Rock Sioux and numerous activist groups have protested the pipeline’s construction, arguing that it is potentially destructive to both sacred sites and to the environment.
On January 24, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to advance construction of the pipeline without the environmental review.