The Dakota Access Pipeline Will Start Carrying Oil Sooner Than You Think

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Its official: The Dakota Access Pipeline will start carrying crude oil starting next month, Reuters reported.
Energy Transfer Partners LP, the Texas-based company behind the project, filed a document on Thursday with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to let the agency know details about the pipeline. The document, called a tariff, outlines the particulars of the line and the oil that will be delivered. According to the filing, the controversial 1,172-mile pipeline will start transporting crude oil from western North Dakota to Illinois on May 14.
The project garnered international attention when the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued to block its completion. The tribe argued that the $3.8 billion pipeline would desecrate a sacred burial ground and also contaminate their water supply. Hundreds of people joined a protest camp for a months-long struggle, which at times became violent against the water protectors and other activists.
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In December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blocked further construction of the pipeline and urged Energy Transfer Partners to seek "alternative routes" for it. But the victory was short-lived for the Standing Rock tribe: After taking office in January, President Trump signed an executive order that would help advance construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Standing Rock and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribes have been unsuccessful in their attempts to sue the Texas-based company and stop the project. By late February, the makeshift protest camps in Standing Rock were ordered to be evacuated, and the remaining water protectors left the area.
It's unclear what impact the pipeline will have in the area once it starts running — or what the spill risks at some points of the route could be. On Wednesday, a federal judge allowed Energy Transfer Partners to keep secret some information about the pipeline and its spill risks, The Associated Press reported.
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