North Dakota’s Historic Preservation Office: “Due diligence under existing regulatory law and regulation was done”

According to an article released by the Dickinson Press the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office (NDSHPO) believes that due diligence under federal and state regulatory standards was completed for the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Chief Archaeologist Paul Picha said that he and a fellow NDSHPO staff member participated in a walk-through of the pipeline route on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land east and west of the pipeline’s proposed Missouri River crossing. NDSHPO assisted in the federal review of the project.

The State Historic Preservation Office issued a “no significant sites affected” determination in February on the North Dakota segment of the pipeline, concurring with the findings of three cultural resource consulting firms, who meet the federal standards for archaeological review.

Additionally, North Dakota Public Services Commissioners pointed out that more than 500 cultural resources identified were addressed through reroutes, mitigation or other measures, and that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had multiple opportunities to weigh in on cultural concerns at the three public hearings held throughout the state as well as through consultations with the company that began in September 2014. The Tribe chose not to participate in these events.

The tribe has claimed inadequate time for meeting notices in tribal publications, despite the fact the project has now been announced for over 800 days, and North Dakota publicized the hearings for months.