It’s easy for Americans to get riled up when indigenous people protest over property rights, historical preservation and quality of life, but we have to look at the facts surrounding the DAPL project
Sioux claim the DAPL “will destroy sites of cultural and historical significance”, and contaminate the water supply. However, a Federal lawsuit was filed by the Sioux Tribe on September 9th, 2016, and the court ruled on “Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, et al., vs. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers”
They also filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction asserting:
“The Corps flouted its duty to engage in tribal consultations under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and that irreparable harm will ensue.”
The court found the case as follows:
That the court researched the evidence of claim and has determined, the Court cannot concur that “irreparable harm will ensue”. The Court concluded that the Corps has likely complied with the NHPA and the Tribe was not able to show how it will suffer injury.
Sioux Tribes Lawyers could not show proof that the pipeline ran through Ancient Sites.
The Court also noted that the Dakota Pipeline ran one half mile away from the Sioux Property, and doesn’t not encroach on their land. Furthermore, Their concerns of Contaminated water, was not a concern of the pipeline, but rather due to the construction of the pipeline itself.
The pipeline begins at North Dakota, crosses South Dakota, Iowa and ends in Illinois, but the pipeline does not cross the Standing Rock reservation, in fact it runs one half mile away from it on public land. In fact the DAPL project doesn’t need a federal permit of any kind because 99% of its route traverses private land.
The court did side with the Tribe in that the Corps has to permit the DAPL activity according to the Clean Water Act or the Rivers and Harbors Act, and sometimes both.
The Tribe also claimed the Courts did not fulfill their obligation to consult with them about the cultural or religious ramifications as outlined in the National Historic Preservation Act, (NHPA) of 1966, before the DAPL project began.
Section 106 was argued by the Tribes lawyers as being in violation, however the Court denied the argument becuase this only applies to the projects or undertakings where a Permit was required for its activities.
The conclusion by the court has been that the Federal Government, and Corps of Engineers, has fulfilled and is fulfilling its obligation, but the Tribe is not satisfied with the result and continues to physically block the project, causing physical confrontations between Law Enforcement and the Tribe.