The U.S. Army has cleared the way for Energy Transport Partners to complete the remaining leg of their Dakota Access pipeline.
Overriding Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy's earlier decision to halt construction and conduct a broader environmental study and possible reroute of the project, Acting Assistant Army Secretary Douglas Lamont said in a memo, "I have determined that there is no cause for completing any additional environmental analysis."
The Army said Tuesday that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.
The Standing Rock Sioux , whose reservation is just downstream from the crossing, fears a leak would pollute its drinking water and led protests that drew thousands of people. Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault said the tribe is "undaunted" by the Army's decision and will continue to challenge the build. Even if the pipeline is finished and begins operating, he said, the tribe will push to get it shut down. The Standing Rock Sioux argues that under the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1888, the federal government is obliged to consider a tribe's welfare when making decisions that affect the tribe.
Elsewhere, the Seattle City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a vote to sever ties with banking giant Wells Fargo over its role as a lender to the Dakota Access pipeline project as well as other business practices. The measure directs Seattle officials to end the city's contract with the San Francisco-based bank once it expires in 2018 and not to make new investments in Wells Fargo securities for three years.