In July 2016, The Army Corps Of Engineers Determined That

Decent Essays

In July 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers determined that the Dakota Access Pipeline presented no significant environmental risks and could go forward as planned by its developers. However, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe whose lands the pipeline would cross, as well as other indigenous groups, and allies including scientists, have urged the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider this judgment. Perhaps due to this pressure, the Army Corps of Engineers has since delayed the easement, to the resistance of Energy Transfers Partners (ETP), who say they will build anyway, even without the permit (Heavey). While this struggle over legal rights as well as economic, environmental, and health concerns continues, we should understand why the Army Corps …show more content…

Moreover, regulators cannot afford to prevent these leaks, as they are underfunded (Becker, 2016; Groeger, 2012). In other words, leaks from DAPL are extremely likely.
This lack of regulatory funding not only increases the chances that leaks will happen as, for example, pipelines degrade over time, but it also puts the burden on companies to self-regulate, thus leading to underreporting or not reporting incidents (Becker, 2016; Groeger, 2012). This lack of reporting might increase the chances that people consume oil-polluted water following a spill or leak, possibly endangering public health-- though these health impacts often go unmeasured according to Dara O’Rourke and Sara Connolly (2003, p. 601). Furthermore, while companies stay silent to avoid being fined or penalized, any other environmental degradation might continue as well. This situation is not simply predictable; it has happened, as recently as 2013 in North Dakota when Tesoro “spilled more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil in a wheat field in Tioga” (Becker, p. 21) and went undetected over eleven days (Bell, 2014, p. 14). Dara O’Rourke and Sara Connolly point out that in part because pipelines are “highly prone to corrosion” (2003, p. 601), these undetected leaks and small spills are common and cumulative (p. 598). Note that this funding problem, which weakens enforcement of reporting requirements, is likely to worsen with this next

Get Access