UPDATE: The Obama administration said late Friday afternoon that no decision has been made on the disputed easement for the Dakota Access pipeline.
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Even as water protectors continued to face off against police on Friday in North Dakota, news outlets reported that the Obama administration is set to approve the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as early as Monday.
Citing “two sources familiar with the timing,” Politico said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could approve a disputed easement within days, which would allow pipeline construction—on hold since September—to continue across the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux’s reservation. The Standing Rock tribe is vehemently opposed to the project, saying it threatens water supplies and sacred sites.
Amid such opposition, Politico reported, “the prospect of a Monday announcement is raising concerns that nationwide protests planned for Tuesday could turn uncivil.”
“That risk of escalating tension may yet prompt the administration to postpone its decision until later in the week,” the outlet continued, “to add additional safety requirements to the easement that the Army Corps of Engineers first put on hold in September—or to change course entirely.”