Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairperson Janet Alkire Decries DAPL Criminal Convictions and Government Secrecy


February 3, 2023

FORT YATES, North Dakota (2/2/2023) – Janet Alkire, the Chairwoman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is calling upon the Army to consider the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) operators’ recent criminal convictions and shut down the pipeline.

“Energy Transfer’s companies admitted to 23 crimes,” Alkire explains, referring to a no contest plea agreement entered in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. “They committed dozens of crimes in the construction and operation of the Mariner East and Revolution pipelines. Are DAPL’s construction and operational flaws to be uncovered next? Based upon recent history, unfortunately, the risks all point to ‘yes.’ These criminals should not be allowed to operate a high capacity hazardous liquid pipeline on our Treaty land.”

Alkire says that Standing Rock is a signatory of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, which contains a “bad man” clause requiring the United States to remove non-Indian criminals from the Treaty territory. “Under the bad man clause, the Corps of Engineers must shut down DAPL and remove Energy Transfer from our Treaty land,” Alkire says.

Alkire also expresses concern that the Corps of Engineers is hiding important documents relating to pipeline safety. “Our Tribe has requested that the Corps of Engineers share basic documents, such as the Emergency Response Plan and DAPL Spill Model, which shows the effects of an oil spill on our Reservation. Col. Mark Himes of the Corps’ Omaha District office has refused to share any information. What are they hiding? Why are they defending prosecuted criminals, Energy Transfer, against our Tribe?”

On October 5, 2021, Energy Transfer-owned companies were originally charged with 48 criminal Clean Water violations in connection with the Mariner East pipeline, which included allegations of water contamination, use of unapproved drill fluids and failure to report violations. On February 2, 2022, the company was charged with nine additional crimes after the Revolution pipeline exploded, causing extensive damage.

The company filed a no contest plea for a total of 23 criminal violations and agreed to a $10 million settlement to property owners whose wells suffered contamination from the Mariner East pipeline spills. "The plea agreement requires disclosure of the criminal convictions for future government approvals. That is where the Army Corps comes in with DAPL,” Alkire says.

The Corps is currently drafting an Environmental Impact Statement on DAPL, which has been operating in a federal flood control project without a permit since March 2020, when federal judge James Boasberg vacated a prior easement due to a flawed Environmental Assessment by the Corps of Engineers.

The federal Mineral Leasing Act requires all pipelines crossing federal land to obtain an easement. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe takes the position that the operation of the pipeline without an easement is illegal. Alkire emphasizes that the Tribe will continue to press for shutdown of the pipeline. She believes the criminal convictions involving Energy Transfer disqualifies the company from continuing to operate DAPL.

“At Standing Rock, we stand on our Treaty rights. Under the bad man clause of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, DAPL must be shut down. And the Corps of Engineers should stop hiding the documents of criminals.”


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023