There are presently around 3,000 protesters occupying six camps near where the Dakota Access Pipeline will cross the Missouri River. As the seasons change, some have opted to go home, but others have stayed and are beginning to construct shelters in preparation for winter. It’s a sign that they intend to wait out the winter. According to industry officials, though, the pipeline itself is all but built and continued protest is unlikely to be effective.
“This thing is going to get approved,” said Brigham McCown, former acting administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The project has already received permits from each of the several states it passes through. All that remains is a final easement of about 540 feet on each side of the river. The Army Corps of Engineers has twice defended its approval process for the section in courts, and the courts have agreed construction should continue. But earlier this week, the Corps announced it wanted to halt construction while doing further analysis.