Protesters in North Dakota are calling for the removal of the Army Corps of Engineers in a historic showdown with the Trump Administration over the controversial $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline.
The Army Corps announced Thursday it is considering a plan that would add as many as 3,000 more oil tankers to the already nearly 1,200-mile pipeline.
A senior Army Corps official said in a statement that the Army is “evaluating” the proposal and is in the process of reviewing the public comment period and finalizing a process for the review and approval of the proposed pipeline.
“I’m not sure what we can do but we have to move forward and do the right thing, I said, adding, “There’s no doubt that we need to move ahead and do this right.
“A group of Indigenous activists who had gathered in front of the Corps headquarters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, said in the statement that they want to take action and “fight for our right to life.
“They say the pipeline is a threat to water resources and is a grave threat to Indigenous people, saying it would harm sacred lands, sacred sites and water sources.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the pipeline would disturb the waters of the Missouri River and pose a threat of destruction of the Standing Rock water supply.
The tribe says the project would also threaten water sources for tribal nations downstream.
The Trump administration said in December that it would approve the Dakota Energy Corp.’s $3 billion Dakota Pipeline Expansion Project if it receives final permits for the project by March 31, 2019.
The permit is expected to be issued by the end of the year.
President Donald Trump’s administration says the Army has been slow to review the pipeline proposal and has not released the full report.
But it says the report will provide an opportunity for the public to weigh in and make their opinions known.
A pipeline that crosses the Missouri and is expected for completion in 2019 would be the first such pipeline to cross the country in decades.
It would connect with the existing Dakota Access Oil Pipeline, which is a subsidiary of Halliburton Co. that has been the subject of lawsuits.
The company is expected soon to announce plans to build a second pipeline that would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois and Indiana.
The pipeline would run from an oil terminal in North Charleston, South Carolina, to a terminal in Chicago, Illinois.