Work to resume immediately on Dakota Access pipeline

FILE - This Sept. 29, 2016 file photo, shows a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline under construction near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

BISMARCK, ND (AP) – The company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline says it plans to resume work immediately to finish the project.

Members of the North Dakota Congressional delegation say the Army has granted the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline formal pipeline permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer issued statements Wednesday saying the easement was issued.

The action clears the way for completion of the disputed $3.8 billion project. But the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has promised to challenge it in court.

The tribe worries that a pipeline leak could pollute its drinking water. Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline is safe.

The crossing under Lake Oahe is the final big chunk of work on the pipeline that would carry North Dakota oil to Illinois. The Army had begun further study of the river crossing, but notified Congress on Tuesday that it would stop the effort and grant the easement to ETP.

In downtown Columbus on Wednesday night, dozens of protestors gathered to demonstrate their displeasure with the green light the Dakota Access Pipeline has been granted.

“If we don’t take care of Mother Earth … she will die,” said Lydia Green, a Columbus resident of Native American heritage. “We will have nowhere to go.”

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