The following statement was shared from Anneloes Smitsman and international Lawyer who is working on behalf of the Indigenous people of standing rock to prevent the Dakota access pipeline-
STANDING ROCK UPDATES DAPL – from Anneloes Smitsman, about the legal status of the pipeline…
“The companies behind DAPL have continued their drilling activities after their request for permit was denied last weekend by the Obama Administration via the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was decided then too that to continue any work as part of this proposed project a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) needs to be conducted first that will need to produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that needs to indicate new routing options for this pipeline.
According to eye witnesses at Standing Rock this week, it has been observed that drilling activities continued after decline for permit request for this part of the proposed project. Continuation of these drilling activities thus implies that these activities are now illegal, and money from many banks around the world who have acted as investors for this project with money from many of you, are now being used illegally and without permit to complete a project that has no standing in the Court of Law in its current shape.
Today there will be Court emergency hearing instigated by the companies behind DAPL who have requested the Court to overturn the decision that was made last weekend by the Army Corps of Engineers regarding decline of permit request and requirement of EIA/ EIS before new permits for new routings can be provided. The company’s lawyers argued on Monday that the Army Corps of Engineers had already approved the reservoir crossing and thus have a legal obligation to continue the said promise. It appears that the perceived ‘approval’ was not yet in the form of a ‘final’ permit.
If these companies attempt to use the argumentation that they are under contractual obligation to complete their project and need to continue their activities to avoid breach of contract with their partners and clients, it brings to question how they could have been so sure that they would get the permit without and prior to an EIA being conducted and completed?
A permit and promise of permit should only be provided after all conditions are met and after all evaluations have been carried out regarding possible impacts. It is agreed now that the EA (Environmental Assessment) that was conducted and completed Aug 2016 is not sufficient, hence the need for a proper EIA/EIS now (which should have been the condition from the very start).
If these companies are now suffering financial loss because they rushed their process, bullied their way through, and made promises that should not have been made at that time, people who are innocent and with constitutional rights should not pay the price for that, and neither should our precious environment and our future generations. This is not just happening here, the pattern is the same in many places around the world.
Let’s see what the Court’s ruling will be today.”
Anneloes Smitsman, PhD(c), LLM
Founder, EARTHwise Centre
This statement was accompanied by a very powerful video from Unify about the situation and what we can do about the situation in Standing Rock.
We are also working with many organisations in a joint effort to come together, boycott the banks and create a global movement which is working towards a rebalance of the current power system. You can look at what we are doing in the video below-