While hundreds are settling in for the long haul at an encampment to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed Thursday that the pipeline developer, Energy Transfer Partners, does not yet have a written easement to build the pipeline on corps property.
Corps spokesman Larry Janis said the easement is still under review, though the agency did issue Section 408 permission in late July that allows the easement to be written.
“They can’t build the project by accessing corps property from west to east across Lake Oahe,” Janis said of any current construction.
The realization that the company still does not have an actual easement surfaced Wednesday in a federal district court in Washington, D.C., where the Sioux tribe’s request for an injunction to stop the pipeline pending its suit against the corps was heard. The court judge said he wants more time to study whether the corps failed to follow the National Historic Preservation Act and other federal laws in its environmental review of the project. The judge said he will rule on the injunction Sept. 9.
Documents in the hearing discussed in the article are here.