Ranking Member Grijalva Traveling to North Dakota This Weekend in Solidarity With Standing Rock Sioux Against DAPL Pipeline

Washington, D.C. – Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will travel to North Dakota this Sunday, Sept. 11, in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), a 1,100-mile pipeline that would stretch from North Dakota to a river port in Illinois.

Grijalva’s trip comes in the wake of today’s joint announcement by the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior that construction of the pipeline would cease on Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) land bordering or under Lake Oahe, which has seen growing protests in recent weeks, pending a full review of the Corps’ legal responsibilities at the site. The departments called on the pipeline construction company voluntarily to pause construction within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe until the review is complete.

The departments further pledged to initiate full government-to-government consultation “this fall” with tribes to discuss possible reforms of the consultation process moving forward.

The announcement is a significant reversal of the DAPL construction process to date. Despite the federal government’s legal trust responsibility to ensure federally permitted projects do not threaten historically or culturally significant tribal places, the trust lands of tribal nations, or the waters that run through them, the Standing Rock Sioux were never consulted about the DAPL, which will run less than a mile from their reservation.

Sacred and culturally significant places have already been impacted by construction and may have been destroyed. Just as seriously, the DAPL is a spill risk for the Missouri River – the Standing Rock Sioux’s only water source.  By failing to consult the tribe formally during the permitting process and allowing the project to go forward, the Corps potentially violated the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Grijalva’s trip will include a meeting with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II and a visit and tour of the Standing Rock Sioux camp.

On Sept. 8, Grijalva joined Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, in requesting a Government Accountability Study on the adequacy of federal programs and policies that protect Tribal health and environmental quality.

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