Yesterday, the D.C. District Court ruled to vacate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Oahe easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and to require the removal of all oil flowing through the pipeline by August 5, 2020. The decision, issued by Judge James E. Boasberg, was in response to the failure of the Army Corps of Engineers to comply to his order, issued in March, to conduct a full environmental analysis of the impact of DAPL. Once the oil is completely removed from the Pipeline, the Army Corps is required to start the environmental review process, which is estimated to take 13 months to complete in full.
This decision requires that the treaty-reserved rights of the plaintiff tribes – the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Yankton Sioux Tribe, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe – are adequately addressed, along with any other land and natural resource considerations, in a full-fledged and well-documented environmental review process.
The National Indian Gaming Association would like to applaud the tireless work on this issue by the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association (GPTCA), the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Indian Organizations have rallied to support and defend the sovereign rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Yankton Sioux Tribe, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr., stated: “Four years ago I went to the DAPL protests on sacred Tribal land in North Dakota. I am proud that our Member Tribes and Tribal leadership have shown relentless support for the Sioux Nations and we will continue to oppose the Pipeline until our sacred sites are respected.”
We will continue to monitor the situation leading up to the August 5 deadline, and update our Member Tribes accordingly.
Please contact Danielle Her Many Horses at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns with this alert.