Quick Facts & Main Concerns About the Dakota Access Pipeline

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Quick Facts About the Dakota Access Pipeline:

  • The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project is a 1,134-mile oil pipeline from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota to refineries in Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline is proposed to transport over 570,000 barrels per day.
  • DAPL would contribute to 50 million tonnes C02 per year- the equivalent of 10 million cars or 15 coal plants. It is a massive pipeline that will transport crude oil across native prairie lands, valuable farm lands and critical waterways including the Missouri River.
  • The pipeline crosses treaty lands of the Oceti Sakowin and will pass along the northern borders of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation.
  • DAPL will cross the Missouri River less than 1 mile north of Cannon Ball, ND. It will also cross just 12 miles upstream from the drinking water intake for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water supply, impacting over 10,000 Tribal citizens.
  • The construction work for the pipeline as it crosses the Missouri River will increase the toxic levels of contaminants and could cause the release of diesel fuel or other pollutants into the Missouri.

Main Concerns About the Dakota Access Pipeline:

  • No Proper Consultation With Tribes: Tribes were not properly consulted on the cultural and environmental impacts of the pipeline. There are numerous cultural and sacred sites along the pipeline route.
  • Inadequate Environmental Review: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) did not do a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. This was despite the fact that in April 2016,  the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation all wrote a formal letter to the USACE requesting a full EIS.
  • Historic Preservation and Sacred Sites: The area where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River is a historically significant place for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, full of cultural and sacred sites. These sites were not properly surveyed, nor was the tribe properly consulted on surveying these sites. The pipeline would dig through Indigenous Peoples' cultural and sacred sites. We are concerned about the potential irreparable damage construction would have on these significant sites.
  • Environmental Racism: Dakota Access moved the pipeline route away from Bismarck while keeping it close to Native American communities. This is an environmental justice issue, where the impacts on and input from a more affluent, white community had priority over the impacts on and input from Indigenous Peoples.
  • Nationwide Permit 12: The USACE used Nationwide Permit 12 to segment the project into hundreds of pieces and rubber stamp each individual river or stream crossing without ever looking at the whole thing. This is the way they were able to skip the environmental review and public participation required by federal law. NWP12 was intended for projects like boat ramps and mooring buoys, not oil pipelines.
  • Pipeline Spill: It is not a matter of IF a pipeline breaks, it is a matter of WHEN a pipeline breaks. There are no safe pipelines. A spill will threaten drinking water for thousands of people, including the majority of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. A spill will destroy critical farm lands of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.
  • Climate Change: The pipeline would go against Obama’s promise to act on Climate Change. DAPL would contribute to 50 million tons of CO2 each year. The president has promised to act on climate. Building more pipelines only locks us into more oil and gas.

The only real solution is to KEEP THE OIL IN THE GROUND, develop alternative renewable energy systems that are community-controlled, and make a plan for supporting workers to shift into jobs in new sectors.

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