Tribes Seek Reroute of Keystone, DAPL Back in Court
The Assiniboine Sioux Tribe of Fort Peck asked Keystone Pipeline Developer Trans-Canada to consider rerouting the pipeline and to have three alternative routes planned, in what the Tribes said was a move to protect the water supply.
Currently, the Tribe administers a water treatment facility that provides water to residents throughout Northeast Montana. The facility distributes water through Dry Prairie Water to local ranchers, farmers and residents as well as to the reservation. The intake for the water treatment plant would be down stream from the pipelines route across the Missouri River.
Trans-Canada spokesman Terry Cunha told the Associated Press, “We are trying to reach out to all the impacted groups,” adding, “We remain committed to ongoing engagement with tribal nations.” Trans-Canada is currently working on route approval, but Cunha said construction could begin in the latter half of 2018.
Related to Keystone, through President Trump’s Executive Order moving forward with both pipelines, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was being challenged in federal court Feb 28. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C. was set to hear arguments on whether to order the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw a permit allowing the Energy Transfer Partners’ pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe in southern North Dakota.
Protesters from the Standing Rock Tribe have been protesting the construction of the pipeline due to concerns it could contaminate the Tribe’s downstream drinking water supply. The Army Corps of Engineers rescinded the permit allowing the $3.8 billion pipeline to pass under the lake last summer, halting construction until Trump ordered the permit granted in his first week in office. The judge is expected to rule on the case in April.