Company rep: Dakota Access pipeline under Oahe has oil in it

In a weekly construction status update filed in U.S. District Court, a Dakota Access LLC attorney wrote that the company is commissioning the full pipeline before it will be placed into service.

March 27 — ETP says it has pumped oil into the disputed section of pipe under Lake Oahe and is preparing to put the full line into service. As the "silent sister" of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux and their chairman Harold Frazier have advocated for their fellow Sioux through the duration of the fight against the DAPL.

ETP did not reveal when it foresaw the pipeline becoming operational, but did say that it now has oil underneath a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

There also are hundreds of protest-related cases making their way through the state's court system. In addition, the pipeline crosses through sacred lands which are of important historical and religious significance to the tribes.

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Native tribes such as the Standing Rock Sioux and the Cheyenne River Sioux oppose the almost 1,200-mile Dakota Access pipeline, claiming it threatens sacred territory and vital drinking water resources.

ETP wrapped up construction on the pipeline this month after receiving permission from the USA government in February for the Lake Oahe work, which had been held up several months by protests and the legal dispute. Many were joyous in December 2016 when the Army Corps of Engineers blocked the pipeline, but shortly after his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an order in favor of approving the final permits for the pipeline. At times it housed thousands of people, many of whom clashed with police, who made about 750 arrests between August and February. The perpetrators had reportedly tried to burn holes in some sections of the pipeline where it is above ground, at valve sights.

North Dakota has become the second-biggest oil producer in the the past decade, trailing only Texas. The pipeline is projected to cost $3.8 billion and carry half a million barrels of oil daily.

The Dakota Access company says the pipeline is much safer than shipping oil by train or truck.

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