By Chelsea Hawkins and Sue Evans, Pyramid Comm.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will vigorously pursue legal action to ensure the environmental impact statement (EIS) order issued late last year is followed so the pipeline process is legal, fair and accurate.
We are not surprised to see North Dakota’s US Sen. John Hoeven issued a statement prematurely championing Trump directives to grant an easement for illegal construction. The Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army had directed the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to proceed with the final easement necessary to complete the proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It is not a formal issuance of the easement.
The Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the EIS and issue the easement. The ACOE must review the Presidential Memorandum, notify Congress, and actually grant the easement.
We have not received formal notice that the EIS has been suspended or withdrawn.
To abandon the EIS would amount to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President’s personal views and, potentially, personal investments. We stand ready to fight this battle against corporate interest superseding government procedure and the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans.