(Reuters) - The Army Corps of Engineers will proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline, U.S. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota said in a statement on Tuesday.
Hoeven said Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer told him and Vice President Mike Pence of the move. "This will enable the company to complete the project, which can and will be built with the necessary safety features to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others downstream," Hoeven, a Republican, said in a statement.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week allowing Energy Transfer Partners LP's <ETP.N> Dakota Access Pipeline to go forward, after months of protests from Native American groups and climate activists pushed the administration of President Barack Obama to ask for additional environmental review for the controversial project.
Representatives for the Army Corps of Engineers could not immediately be reached for comment late on Tuesday.
The office of U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, a Republican who represents North Dakota, also said in statement that the Army Corps of Engineers was allowing the project to move forward.
Going ahead with the pipelines would mark a bitter defeat for Native American tribes and climate activists, who successfully blocked the projects earlier and vowed to fight the decisions through legal action.
Oil producers in Canada and North Dakota are expected to benefit from a quicker route for crude oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners.
(Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)