- Associated Press - Thursday, April 28, 2016

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) - Plains American Indians and others are taking part in a 500-mile spiritual relay to show their opposition to a proposed $3.8 billion oil pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois.

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline are running from Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district office in Omaha, Nebraska, where they will deliver a petition asking the Corps to conduct a more thorough environmental study of the planned pipeline.

The relay began Sunday and is expected to end next Tuesday, The Bismarck Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1T6IBh5 ).

The 1,130-mile pipeline planned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners would pass through the Dakotas and Iowa on its way to Illinois. It would carry nearly half a million barrels of oil a day. Regulators in all states have approved the project, but it still needs approval from the Corps because it would cross public waterways including the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

Tribal officials fear contamination to drinking water.

Jasilyn Charger, a runner from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said she’s running not just for herself.

“I run for every man, woman and child that was, that is, and for those who will come to be,” she said.

Energy Transfer Partners maintains the pipeline will be a safe and cost-effective way to transport oil, and will create jobs and boost the economy.

Standing Rock Sioux officials also plan to meet with a Corps official Friday in Mobridge, South Dakota, to express their concerns.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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