Today, the Army announced that it intends to issue the final easement necessary for the Dakota Access Pipeline. It also terminated the Environmental Impact Statement process with no discernible reason. Once the easement is issued, construction can begin immediately. Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Debora Juarez released the following statements after the announcement:
“Today’s reversal on the environmental impact statement by the Army Corps is clearly a political decision made with complete disregard for the impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline on tribal lands and the environment,” Mayor Murray said. “Setting such a dismissive and careless precedent continues a historic pattern of violating tribal treaty rights.
“Complete disregard for tribal rights and interests sets a dangerous course not only for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but also has the potential to reverberate throughout Indian Country. This action also shows no respect for the right to clean drinking water for all. We, as allies, must add our voices and put a stop to this injustice. The tribe continues to fight this battle in court and the City of Seattle continues to stand behind them, in the name of tribal sovereignty everywhere and in thinking ahead to the protection of our Pacific Northwest tribal neighbors and our critical environmental safeguards. We will not stand by as tribal citizens are treated as second class communities.”
“I object to the President’s executive order as implemented by the Army Corps today, which unlawfully deprives Native peoples of their rights of due process and meaningful consultation,” said Councilmember Juarez. “This action single-handedly ignores the supreme law of the land – The 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie – waives due process, and undermines American democratic principles of transparency and public accountability.
“At the President’s direction, the Corps’ order to halt the EIS process and approve the pipeline has added insult to the very real injuries suffered by the Standing Rock Sioux, and by extension, the rights of indigenous peoples everywhere.”