Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P. are seeking a judgment declaring that Dakota Access Pipeline has the legal right-of-way to build, complete and operate the Dakota Access Pipeline without any further action from the Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”). In these actions, Dakota Access Pipeline is requesting the court to confirm that the Corps has already granted all of the relevant authorizations and given Dakota Access Pipeline its right-of-way to finish the pipeline beneath the federal land that borders Lake Oahe in North Dakota as a result of its prior actions in granting a permit to allow Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe.
The declaratory relief Dakota Access Pipeline has sought seeks to end the Administration’s political interference in the Dakota Access Pipeline review process. This relief is fully warranted because the Corps has never before declined to provide written documentation of the granting of an easement, a perfunctory ministerial act, to use federally owned land after granting regulatory permission for work on the very same land. Granting the declaratory judgment would restore normal order to the federal permitting process and end the Administration’s flagrant disregard for the rule of law.
“Dakota Access Pipeline has waited long enough to complete this pipeline. Dakota Access Pipeline has been granted every permit, approval, certificate, and right-of-way needed for the pipeline’s construction. It is time for the Courts to end this political interference and remove whatever legal cloud that may exist over the right-of-way beneath federal land at Lake Oahe,” said Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners.
Dakota Access Pipeline made its filings after the Corps announced yesterday that it had completed the additional review regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline that had started on September 9, 2016. The Corps concluded once again “that its previous decisions” regarding Dakota Access Pipeline’s proposed crossing at the Lake Oahe site “comported with legal requirements.”