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Army Corps will miss April deadline on Dakota Access review

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs more time to complete a court-ordered environmental analysis of the Energy Transfer Partners LP-led Dakota Access oil pipeline.

In a March 16 filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Army Corps said it cannot complete its environmental review by April 2. The Corps pointed to a lack of information from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and two other tribes as the reason behind its second request for more time. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe submitted data in March, and the Corps is still studying it.

The Army Corps initially planned to finish the review by early December 2017. In an Oct. 6, 2017, court filing, the agency said it could not complete spill modeling of the pipeline until early December 2017, which pushed the expected completion date of the environmental analysis to April 2.

The Corps will file a notice with an updated deadline for the review once it receives all of the missing information from the tribes. The information includes data on each tribe's respective hunting, fishing and other cultural practices that could be impacted by an oil spill.

In June 2017, the federal court ordered the Army Corps to conduct additional analysis, siding with the tribes. The tribes had said the agency did not adequately consider all of the impacts of the pipeline.

Dakota Access LLC's 1,172-mile pipeline began moving crude oil June 1, 2017, after President Donald Trump asked for an expedited permit review for the line. The pipeline delivers supplies from North Dakota's Bakken Shale to an Illinois pipeline hub for additional transportation to the Gulf Coast. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia docket 16-cv-01534)