CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline is denouncing a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to delay an easement to cross a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.
Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren said in a statement Monday that the decision is "motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules."
The Corps wants more studies and tribal input before it decides whether to allow the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The Standing Rock Sioux says the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites. Protests have been ongoing for months. ETP says it will "vigorously pursue its legal rights."
The 1,200-mile pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois is largely complete outside of the river crossing.
The Standing Rock Sioux chairman says the decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to delay the easement indicates protests against the project are succeeding.
Chairman Dave Archambault said in a statement that the Corps' decision is encouraging and shows the demonstrations are bringing the tribe's concerns to light.
An industry group supporting the pipeline criticized the Corps' decision. The MAIN Coalition called it an attempt at "death by delay."