Native American artifacts found along North Dakota pipeline route

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) Members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission say Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access Pipeline, hasn’t been transparent in their communications. It turns out a site of cultural significance was found along the pipeline route, but the PSC says Energy Transfer Partners waited 10 days to say anything about it.

The site, which contained rock cairns, was successfully preserved by a route adjustment to the pipeline, but the Public Service Commission isn’t satisfied with the way the company handled it.

“I was really extremely disappointed that the company failed to notify us about this when it happened,” said PSC member Julie Fedorchak.

Energy Transfer Partners discovered sites deemed significant to Native American culture on October 17. The site found was described as a stone cairns feature, which could represent a number of things from a commemorative event, a trail marking or – in a small amount of cases – human remains.

The company notified the State Historic Preservation Office and rerouted the pipeline to preserve the sites.

“An avoidance corridor was mapped and avoidance of the cultural resources was achieved,” says Paul Picha, SHPO.

But Energy Transfer Partners did not notify the Public Service Commission for 10 days. Commissioner Fedorchak says this shows a lack of transparency. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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