U.S. to grant final permit for controversial Dakota pipeline -court filing

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By Valerie Volcovici and Ernest Scheyder | WASHINGTON/HOUSTON

WASHINGTON/HOUSTON The U.S. Army will grant the
final permit for the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline
after an order from President Donald Trump to expedite the
project, despite opposition from Native American tribes and
climate activists.

The protest against the $3.8 billion pipeline drew thousands
of people to the North Dakota plains last year and attracted
high-profile political and celebrity support.

The administration of former President Barack Obama delayed
completion of the line pending a review of tribal concerns and
last year ordered an environmental study.

But in a Tuesday filing in U.S. District Court in Washington
D.C., the U.S. Army, which oversees the Corps of Engineers in
charge of permits for the project, said it would cancel the
study and grant the final permit to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a
reservoir that is part of the Missouri River, allowing
completion of the line.

The permit could come in a day, according to the filing.

The Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation is adjacent to
the line’s route, will challenge the decision, the tribe said in
a statement.

If the line was completed, the tribe would “seek to shut the
pipeline operations down,” and the environmental study was “wrongfully terminated,” it said.

The Standing Rock Sioux had said the line would desecrate sacred sites and potentially pollute the tribe’s water source.

Energy Transfer Partners is building the 1,170-mile
(1,885 km) line to pump crude from the shale oilfields of North
Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico, where many U.S. refineries are
located.

The line could be operational in June if the permit comes
quickly.

Shares of Energy Transfer Partners finished up 20 cents at
$39.20, reversing earlier losses on the news.

(Additional reporting by Liz Hampton)



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