Some of the key points throughout the entire review process for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline were “is this pipeline safe,” “will the job site be safe,” and “will those job sites protect the environment?”
These are questions we all had, after all, this is our land, these are our communities. If this work is going to take place, safety is of the utmost concern both during construction and operation. That’s why we had a review process that considered all these questions, and more.
Throughout the review we learned about the intricacies of soil restoration, X-Ray weld scanning technology, remote actuated shutoff valves, 24/7 monitoring, and horizontal directional drilling. These were matters that were carefully explained by the company throughout each of the lengthy review processes both in open testimony and public documents so that each state, through their utility regulatory bodies, and the federal government, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, could make an informed decision. Only after all had been satisfied was the pipeline deemed safe and approved for construction.
But now that construction has begun, opponents of the project have taken matters into their own hands by committing acts of destruction, trespassing, and refusing compliance with lawful authorities’ orders meant to keep our communities safe.
Rather than pursue lawful action, or accept the fact that this pipeline was indeed thoroughly reviewed and that informed decision makers did their due diligence. These fringe groups have taken to physical action to stop the pipeline on the lawful easements where construction is taking place.
This type of activity endangers local workers, communities, and possibly even the opponents themselves, who do not have the proper training or safety understanding to move on or around the active job sites.
We’ve talked in the past about our disagreements, but the simple fact remains this pipeline was approved many times over.
We urge the opponents of this project to not put themselves in harm’s way and to denounce those who do. It does all of us no good to endanger their own safety and the safety of those working on the pipeline.