The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers extended its court-ordered, extra environmental analysis of the Energy Transfer Partners LP-led Dakota Access oil pipeline into spring of 2018, according to an Oct. 6 court filing.
Spill modeling from Energy Transfer Partners needed for the Army Corps' review cannot be completed until early December, leading the agency to adjust the expected date for the completion of the environmental analysis to sometime around April 2, 2018, attorneys for the federal government wrote in the filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Army Corps is trying to shorten that timeline, according to the filing, and may change the timing based on more information from Dakota Access or the plaintiffs, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The Army Corps initially expected to complete the review between late November and early December.
In June, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia agreed with the tribes that the Army Corps failed to adequately consider all the environmental impacts of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which warranted the additional analysis. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia docket 16-1534)
The Dakota Access pipeline started commercial service June 1, 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.