The US military announced on Tuesday that it will approve the completion of the North Dakota oil pipeline project, which has sparked controversy across the country.
According to a written statement from Deputy Undersecretary of the US Army, Paul Cramer, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) would remove obstacles before the resuming construction on the pipeline "no later than 24 hours following delivery of this notification letter."
This decision comes two weeks after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to expedite completion of the project. President Obama had temporarily blocked construction in December following protests.
Last July, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against the US government to try and stop the construction of the pipeline, but the federal appeals court overturned the decision in October. The Tribe argued that the pipeline threatened their water resources as well as sacred sites. The pipeline has since been the subject of protests in Standing Rock and across the US.
Standing Rock tribal Chairman Dave Archambault said that the tribe is "undaunted" by the government's decision to proceed with the pipeline and has said that the tribe will fight on. He said that even if the pipeline is completed and begins operating, the tribe will push to shut it down.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, planned to cross four states, at a cost of 3.7 billion USD, would carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil from the Bakken formation in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois.
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