Dakota Access Environmental Impact Study (EIS)

Take action and submit public comment on the environmental impact of the Dakota Access Pipeline BEFORE Feb. 20!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a notice of intent to complete an environmental impact study in the Federal Register on Wednesday, Jan. 18. This means the public scoping phase of the process has started, which means the USACE will accept public comments via mail or email.

DATES

To ensure consideration during the development of an EIS, written comments on the scope of an EIS should be sent no later than February 20, 2017. The date of all public scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through a notice to be published in the local North Dakota newspaper (The Bismarck Tribune) and online at https://www.army.mil/​asacw.

This image links to the Federal Register website, where more information about the notice is available, as well as a PDF version.

ADDRESSES

You may mail or hand deliver written comments to:

Mr. Gib Owen
Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
108 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0108

Advance arrangements will need to be made to hand deliver comments. Please include your name, return address, and “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline Crossing” on the first page of your written comments. Comments may also be submitted via email to Mr. Gib Owen, at gib.a.owen.civ@mail.mil. If emailing comments, please use “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline Crossing” as the subject of your email.

Public Comment Availability: Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment that your personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the Army cannot guarantee that this will occur.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

The proposed crossing of Lake Oahe by Dakota Access, LLC is approximately 0.5 miles upstream of the northern boundary of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation. The Tribe protests the crossing primarily because it relies on Lake Oahe for water for a variety of purposes, the Tribe’s reservation boundaries encompass portions of Lake Oahe downstream from the proposed crossing, and the Tribe retains water, treaty fishing, and hunting rights in the Lake.

The proposed crossing of Corps property requires the granting of a right-of-way (easement) under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), 30 U.S.C. 185. To date, the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant the easement pursuant to the MLA. The Army intends to prepare an EIS to consider any potential impacts to the human environment that the grant of an easement may cause.

Specifically, input is desired on the following three scoping concerns:

(1) Alternative locations for the pipeline crossing the Missouri River;

(2) Potential risks and impacts of an oil spill, and potential impacts to Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water intakes, and the Tribe’s water, treaty fishing, and hunting rights; and

(3) Information on the extent and location of the Tribe’s treaty rights in Lake Oahe.

On July 25, 2016, the Corps granted permission to applicant Dakota Access, LLC, under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, 33 U.S.C. 408 (408 permission), for a proposed pipeline crossing of Lake Oahe. Lake Oahe is on the Missouri River and owned by the Corps. The approximate 1,172-mile pipeline connects the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to an existing crude oil market near Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline is 30 inches in diameter and is projected to transport approximately 570,000 barrels per day.

The 408 permission was accompanied by a Finding of No Significant Impact based on an Environmental Assessment (EA), as contemplated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA included a brief description and characterization of factors used in evaluating a potential alternative crossing location that was considered and eliminated during the analysis phase. The alternative route, which was eliminated, would cross the Missouri River approximately 10 miles north of Bismarck, ND.

On December 4, 2016, the Army determined that a decision on whether to authorize the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe at the proposed location merits additional analysis, more rigorous exploration and evaluation of reasonable siting alternatives, and greater public and tribal participation and comments as contemplated in the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ’s) NEPA implementing regulations, 40 CFR 1502.14 and 1503.1. Currently, the Corps is developing a plan to implement the Army’s December 4, 2016 direction. This notice of public scoping should be integrated into the Corps’ plan of action.

Consistent with CEQ’s NEPA implementing regulations, an EIS will analyze, at a minimum:

(1) Alternative locations for the pipeline crossing the Missouri River;

(2) Potential risks and impacts of an oil spill, and potential impacts to Lake Oahe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water intakes, and the Tribe’s water, treaty fishing, and hunting rights; and

(3) Information on the extent and location of the Tribe’s treaty rights in Lake Oahe.

The range of issues, alternatives, and potential impacts may be expanded based on comments received in response to this notice and at public scoping meetings.

 

Concerned about the Summit Pipeline?
Check out these resources and please don’t hesitate to contact us!

1. View the FAQ Fact Sheet here

2. Interested in being connected to collective legal representation?:

Learn more here

3. Landowners Know Your Rights:

Landowners: Know Your Rights Regarding Voluntary Easements, Eminent Domain, and the Summit Carbon Solutions Pipeline.

More information about your rights hee

4. Contact Information:

If you would like more information or if you have any questions, please contact Eliot:

eliot@drcinfo.com or 701-997-5181