The secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers has told Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault that the current route for the Dakota Access pipeline will be denied, NBC News recently reported.
The proposed route, which was rerouted to pass through sacred Native-American land after it was initially supposed to run through predominately white North Dakota neighborhoods, has been the epicenter of protests from the Standing Rock Sioux and other activists since April 1. The main issues the protectors took with the pipeline was that it would grossly interfere with their water supply and would desecrate holy Native land.
According to NBC, most of the 1,172-mile pipeline is complete except for a small section beneath a Missouri River reservoir near the encampment. Archambault told reporters that he was ecstatic to hear Sunday’s decision.
“I am thankful there were some leaders in the federal government that realized something was not right even though its legal,” he said. “For the first time in history native American, they heard our voices. This is something that will go down in history and is a blessing for all indigenous people.”
He added: “I heard the army corp of engineers will not grant the easement and they will reroute. I would say that it is over.“
Archambault later told Buzzfeed in a statement that the “instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes.“
“We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing,” he said.
So what was the turning point?
Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on the need to explore alternate routes.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said in a statement.
“The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
Twitter erupted as the news broke of this huge victory:
This is a developing story and we will provide updates as they become available.