Dakota Access pipeline expected to begin shipping Thursday

The construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline drew months of protests by Native American tribes and environmental activists a year ago, but that pipeline is now expected to be fully operational today.

The Dakota Access pipeline and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline from IL to the Gulf Coast together make up the $4.8 billion Bakken Pipeline system, which ETP said has commitments for about 520,000 barrels of oil daily. We look back on the the fight against the pipeline during the coldest months of North Dakota winter. According to The Washington Post, the pipeline runs 1,200 miles through North Dakota to IL, where it meets the Crude Oil Pipeline and extends to the Gulf Coast. It is expected to transport approximately 520,000 barrels of oil daily.

The Intercept reports the documents show Energy Transfer Partners hired TigerSwan to help with security.

The Bakken system includes the controversial 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter Dakota Access pipeline that runs from the Bakken/Three Forks formation in North Dakota to IL, as well as a less well-known 700-mile, 30-inch diameter Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline that lands in Texas.

If you're catching up on the Dakota Access Pipeline issue, check out our timeline of key events here.

Opponents said the pipeline could contaminate the drinking water of communities downstream. "This pipeline became operational today, yet it has already leaked at least three times". It was the subject of months of protests past year, which grew to thousands of people in size and, at times, drew clashes with police.

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the spill was quickly contained and cleaned up, and therefore did not represent a real risk to the environment.

The Obama administration came to the protesters' rescue when Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy overruled the Army Corps of Engineers recommendation that the pipeline be approved. The new study was officially announced just a couple days before President-elect Trump took office.

The Sioux nation first protested the pipeline during the Obama administration, arguing it ran close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and over land they consider historically sacred.

  • Zachary Reyes