- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - American Indians in North Dakota say they will continue to protest the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois, even after the Army Corps of Engineers approved most of the final permits needed for the project.

Native Americans have been staging a nonviolent protest for months at a “spirit camp” established by the Standing Rock Sioux at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers. Protesters have been spending time in contemplation, conversation and prayer.

The 1,172-mile pipeline planned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners will pass through the Dakotas and Iowa on its way to Illinois. It received approval in all of the states earlier this year, and the Corps of Engineers has now approved crossings of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, agency spokeswoman Eileen Williamson told The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/2apLBtc ).

Energy Transfer Partners still needs approval of three more easements for Corps property - one in South Dakota and one in Illinois.

Construction of the pipeline has already begun in many areas, and “we can now move forward with construction in all areas as quickly as possible in order to limit construction activities to one growing season and be in service by the end of this year,” said Lisa Dillinger, a project spokeswoman.

The pipeline will carry nearly half a million barrels of crude from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields each day. Opponents fear a spill could damage the environment.

Joye Braun, an organizer of the opposition camp, said the Corps should continue to “expect resistance” but did not elaborate other than to say no violence is planned.

“It won’t cross,” Braun said of the pipeline. “I have faith in prayer and in our people and that human and animal rights and everything here will be protected.”

Williamson said the Corps listened to the concerns of tribes and has done its best to address them.


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

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