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North Dakota approves extension to controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

North Dakota approves extension to controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

The oil pipeline that sparked months of protests and mass arrests in 2016 has been approved for an extension by regulators in North Dakota.

The three-member North Dakota Public Service Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners’ planned expansion to nearly double the number of barrels of crude oil pumped through the Dakota Access Pipeline per day.

The extension would include adding a new $40 million pump station in the city of Linton to increase output from “its current maximum capacity of 600,000 barrels per day to up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day,” a press release from the commission reads.

South Dakota has already approved the expansion to the 1,172-mile underground pipeline, which pumps the oil from North Dakota to Illinois. But Iowa and Illinois would still need to approve it before the additions could be made, KFYR-TV reported.

The North Dakota regulators said that they received more than 26,000 comments and petition signatures about the expansion. The commission also heard more than 15 hours of testimony from Energy Transfer Partners and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe — which led the efforts to protest the pipeline that passes near its land.

Workers put in the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe lands after a camp was cleared by law enforcement in 2016
Workers put in the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe lands after a camp was cleared by law enforcement in 2016.Adam Schrader

“While some won’t agree with the decision, it’s imperative that any regulatory body stays within the boundaries of their jurisdictional authority,” wrote Commission Chairman Brian Kroshus. “Doing so otherwise creates regulatory uncertainty and inhibits orderly development.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, however, released a statement slamming the “disappointing” approval of the expansion.

“As citizens of the State of North Dakota, we hoped that the Agency charged with examining the safety of the proposed DAPL expansion and its impacts, would do exactly that,” the release reads. “Unfortunately, today’s decision demonstrates little or no consideration of these impacts. Today the Public Service Commission failed to do its job for the people of North Dakota.”

Source : Adam Schrader Link

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