The Latest: Company to resume work on oil pipeline

AP News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2017 9:09 PM
The Latest: Company to resume work on oil pipeline

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the proposed four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline (all times local):

7 p.m.

The company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline says it plans to resume work immediately to finish the project.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners on Wednesday got final permission from the Army to proceed with a crossing of the Missouri River in southern North Dakota.

The work on the $3.8 billion project had been stalled for months due to opposition by the Standing Rock Sioux, but President Donald Trump last month instructed the Army Corps of Engineers to advance pipeline construction.

The tribe fears a pipeline leak could contaminate its drinking water. ETP says the pipeline is safe.

Company CEO Kelcy Warren has said it will take about three months to finish the river crossing.

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6:25 p.m.

Members of the North Dakota Congressional delegation say the Army has granted the developer of the Dakota Access pipeline formal pipeline permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer issued statements Wednesday saying the easement was issued.

The action clears the way for completion of the disputed $3.8 billion project. But the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has promised to challenge it in court.

The tribe worries that a pipeline leak could pollute its drinking water. Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline is safe.

The crossing under Lake Oahe (oh-AH'-hee) is the final big chunk of work on the pipeline that would carry North Dakota oil to Illinois. The Army had begun further study of the river crossing, but notified Congress on Tuesday that it would stop the effort and grant the easement to ETP.

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5:35 p.m.

Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline are protesting around the country in response to the Army saying it will clear the way for completion of the disputed $3.8 billion project to carry North Dakota oil to Illinois.

Protesters posted an online list of nearly 50 events nationwide. There are large rallies, including one outside the White House, and smaller efforts, such as one in Des Moines, Iowa.

A group of protesters in Chicago targeted a bank. Another group went to an Army Corps of Engineers office in New York City, but protesters were asked to leave when they started filming without a permit.

Several people were arrested for blocking public access to a federal building in San Francisco.

Opponents worry the pipeline will harm the environment. Developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes that.

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2:40 p.m.

Two Dakota Access pipeline opponents who have camped along the pipeline route in southern North Dakota for nearly a year say there's frustration but also resolve as the Army prepares to clear the way for completion of the $3.8 billion project.

Joye Braun and Payu (PY'-yoo) Harris say they won't stop fighting the project. Braun says protesters plan "prayerful, nonviolent, direct action," but she didn't elaborate.

The Army is poised to give the pipeline developer final permission to lay pipe under the Missouri River near the camp. That's the last major chunk of construction.

The protest camp on federal land once housed thousands but has shrunk to about 150. The government plans to close the land Feb. 22. Braun and Harris say pipeline opponents are establishing other camps on private land.

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11:50 a.m.

Dakota Access pipeline opponents at an encampment in North Dakota aren't talking about their plans now that the Army has said it will soon greenlight completion of the $3.8 billion project.

A few dozen people milling around on a frigid Wednesday appeared tense and wouldn't talk. Two unidentified men ordered an Associated Press reporter to leave.

Opponents worry the pipeline will harm water supply. Developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes that.

There have been nearly 700 protester arrests in the area since August.

The Army is poised to give ETP final permission to lay pipeline under the Missouri River near the camp. That's the last major chunk of construction.

The camp on federal land once housed thousands but has shrunk considerably. The Corps says the land will be closed Feb. 22.

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10:25 a.m.

A group that has helped lead protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline says it's expecting hundreds of people to turn out across the country to protest the Army's approval of the project.

The Army said Tuesday it will allow the pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, the last big chunk of construction for the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

Members of the Indigenous Environmental Network and Standing Rock Sioux are calling for protests nationwide. Events are scheduled in many cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Denver and San Francisco.

The Indigenous Environmental Network says opponents are ready to challenge the pipeline "in the courts and in the streets."

Pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners says it will be safe.

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9:55 a.m.

An American Indian activist accused of inciting a riot during protests against the Dakota Access pipeline is encouraging project opponents to come to North Dakota to protest its completion.

The Army says it will allow the pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, the last big chunk of construction. Chase Iron Eyes says that violates the rights of Native Americans.

Iron Eyes says the pipeline goes through land that's sacred to Indians and threatens the water supply of his tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux.

Project developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline is safe. It's unclear when the company will get formal Army permission to begin work.

Iron Eyes was arrested during a protest last week. He says he'll plead not guilty to the felony charge.

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8:20 a.m.

Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline are calling for protests around the world as the Army prepares to greenlight construction of the final stage of the project.

The Army on Tuesday said it will allow the pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, clearing the way for completion of the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

Some opponents who worry the pipeline will harm the environment have dubbed Wednesday "#NODAPL Last Stand" day, and they're calling on social media for "emergency actions." A list shows events planned across the U.S. and in Canada.

The call is coming from Standing Rock Sioux members. The tribe says a pipeline leak could contaminate its drinking water. Project developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline is safe.

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12:05 a.m.

The developer of the stalled, $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline could get clearance from the Army as early as Wednesday to finish the project.

The Army says it will cancel further study and allow the four-state pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, the last big chunk of construction for the project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

The Standing Rock Sioux gets its drinking water from Lake Oahe and fears a pipeline leak would cause contamination. It has vowed to fight the Army permission in court.

It's unclear when pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners would begin drilling after getting permission.

CEO Kelcy Warren has said the company should be able to finish the work in a little over three months once it has the go-ahead.