Court: Construction Can Resume on Small Stretch of Dakota Pipeline

October 10, 2016

A federal appeals court on Sunday opened the door for construction to resume on a small stretch of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline while it considers an appeal by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

A federal appeals judge ruled on Sunday that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline can restart on a small stretch of privately-owned land in North Datoka near Lake Oahe, though three federal agencies have yet to rule on whether construction can continue on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Rulings from those agencies are not expected for months.

The $3.7 billion, 1,170-mile pipeline has been highly controversial because it crosses sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, drawing thousands who have protested with the Native American tribes near the proposed path of the pipeline.

In a statement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chair Dave Archambault II said that the tribe "is not backing down from this fight."

"We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline," Archambault said.

In related news, the Williston Herald reports the Epping Transmission Company has proposed a $6.5 million project connecting its Epping Station and Divide Mainline Pipeline to the Dakota Access Epping Facility. A public hearing is set for November 22. Epping Transmission has requested a waiver of procedures and time schedules in their application. The company wants to begin construction this year.

The Epping link would add 30,000 barrels of oil to the pipeline, bringing the total estimated volume of the line to between 470,000 to 570,000 barrels per day.

The Epping Transmission Company, LLC, listed by Bloomberg as being owned by Bison Midstream, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Summit Midstream Partners.