(CNN) — The Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works announced Sunday.
Jo-Ellen Darcy said in a press release she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. It was announced on November 14, 2016 that her office was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing.
Some officials from the tribe have been concerned about the risk that a rupture in the pipeline or a spill would cause and have been protesting near the site. “Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an environmental impact statement with full public input and analysis.