Standing Rock update from the pipeline and the courtroom

Here is the latest, as of May 16, 2017.

Oil is in the pipe

Oil is in the pipe and they are bringing it up to pressure.  The actual first deliveries, and use of the pipe to transport oil, will likely begin around June 1.  They did experience a small spill of 84 gallons at a pump station; the oil stayed within containment berms.  The emergency response plan for the Standing Rock area is mired in controversy, with parts of it redacted and not available for public review.  Note that federal response plans can be rather lax.  Equipment, such as oil spill boom, is not currently stationed anywhere near Lake Oahe and would take hours to arrive in the event of a spill.  This meets federal requirements.

The legal case continues

The case of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v US Army Corp of Engineers and Energy Transfer Partners continues, with various motions and cross motions for summary judgement on various issues.  Earthjustice maintains a good summary of the status of the case at this website.   The detailed legal documents are available at this Earthjustice website.

The tribes have a strong case on several points.  In an earlier blog post, I detailed the pipeline’s “trail of broken laws”.  Most of these form the basis for the Tribes’ claim today. Note that, because the Trump administration withdrew the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (itself an illegal act without scientific justification), the permitting document of record is the Environmental Assessment (EA), a very weak document with serious problems.  My analysis of the EA (and a direct link to it) is in this blog post.


Iconic image from the pipeline protest in September, 2016.








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