The Latest: Standing Rock leader renews vow to stop easement

AP News
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Posted: Jan 31, 2017 9:17 PM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the Dakota Access pipeline proposed to carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault is renewing the tribe's vow to go to court if an easement is granted to finish the Dakota Access pipeline.

Archambault spoke after North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said the acting secretary of the Army had directed the Army Corps to "proceed" with an easement that would allow the pipeline to be finished. It's complete except for a stretch under Lake Oahe in southern North Dakota.

Members of Archambault's tribe, along with thousands of supporters from around the country, have spent months protesting the pipeline. They warn it could leak and pollute water, although developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline would be safe.

Archambault says the possibility that the easement will be granted "is a good indicator of what this country is going to be up against in the next four years."

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8 p.m.

North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven says the Acting Secretary of the Army has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with an easement necessary to complete the Dakota Access pipeline.

Hoeven issued a statement Tuesday after he says Acting Army Secretary Robert Speer informed him of the decision. Hoeven said he also spoke with Vice President Mike Pence.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night. Hoeven spokesman Don Canton says that Speer's move means the easement "isn't quite issued yet, but they plan to approve it" within days.

Completion of the $3.8 billion project is finished except for a section under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The pipeline has been the target of months of protests.