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Corps completes Dakota Access review, finds no significant environmental impacts

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a court-ordered additional environmental analysis of the Dakota Access oil pipeline and found the project to have no significant environmental impacts on minority populations, including tribes.

The extended review also found that granting the Energy Transfer Partners LP-led oil pipeline project Section 408 permits would not lead to any significant impacts to hunting and fishing resources from oil spills, as the risk of such an incident is low, according to an Aug. 31 filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In June 2017, the court agreed with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe that the Army Corps failed to adequately consider all the environmental impacts of Dakota Access, which led to the additional analysis. Energy Transfer Partners said spill modeling needed for the review could be completed until early December 2017, which led to an extension. The Army Corps initially expected to complete the review in late November or early December 2017.

The Dakota Access pipeline started commercial service in June 2017 after President Donald Trump asked for an expedited permit review to help end a long period of public protest and legal fights that drew international attention. The 1,172-mile pipeline moves crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken Shale to a hub in Illinois, where the oil enters another pipeline on the way to Gulf Coast refineries.