Native News Online photograph by Levi Rickert
Published August 22, 2019
North Dakota Public Service Commission Agrees to Hear Feedback from Tribal Leaders in November on New Pumping Stations and Potential Doubling of Oil Flow
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Public Service Commission announced today that it will hold a public hearing around a proposed expansion of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). The hearing has been set for 9 a.m. on Nov. 13 at the Emmons County Courthouse in Bismarck, North Dakota.
There had been some question as to whether the public—including leadership from the Lakota nations in proximity or downstream from the pipeline—would have a chance to weigh in. Today’s decision by the Commission should provide that opportunity.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe recently took action to intervene in the process, calling for the public hearing. More than 19,000 letters to the Commission from concerned citizens backed the tribe’s call.
The proposed changes to DAPL, including the addition of new pumping stations, could nearly double the pipeline’s flow, from 500,000 barrels daily to 1.1 million.
The Lakota People’s Law Project said, “The hearing is a good step in the right direction. The process must be fully transparent, the public must be heard, and tribal concerns about the safety of sacred lands and water must be properly addressed. We look forward to making sure those concerns are voiced in detail at the hearing, and it is our hope that the commission will use its authority to say no to the proposed expansion and prevent further danger to the environment we share.”
Further comment from tribal leaders should be available in the coming hours and days.