The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 30-inch diameter pipeline spanning approximately 1,150 miles to transport crude oil in the United States. On July 27, 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of Fort Yates, North Dakota filed a lawsuit against the United States Army Corps of Engineers over the approved construction of DAPL segments in North Dakota despite assessments ignoring important public health, socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological impacts on the Tribe and region.
In September 2016, myself, Anne Hilborn, Katherine Crocker and Asia Murphy wrote a sign-on statement, and subsequent resolution, for scientists to show support of halting all construction of the DAPL until revised environmental and cultural assessments were carried out as requested by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Case 1:16-cv-01534. The resolution was co-signed by over 200 scientists, including diverse members of the Society for Conservation Biology. A short letter highlighting the resolution and the tribe’s concerns was also published in Science.
Despite the concerns and law suit raised by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and those set out in our supporting statement, and similar statements written by other expert groups (Archaeologists & Museums), on January 24, 2017, President Donald J Trump took steps to advance construction of the DAPL, as well as the Keystone XL Pipeline, through executive orders.