The Army has effectively put an end to the Dakota Access Pipeline’s controversial location near Native American land.
After months of protests and demonstrations, Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy announced in a press release on Sunday that the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the hotly contested area that runs near the Sioux tribe’s sacred grounds. (The Army owns the lands in Lake Oahe.)
Darcy said the Army’s decision was based on a “need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing,” according to the release. This announcement comes roughly three weeks after the Army delayed the decision to allow for discussion with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who have been protesting the pipeline running near their land.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes “for the pipeline crossing.”
Protestors — including famous names like Shailene Woodley, Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo — say the 1,172-mile conduit that is planned to cross the Missouri River would put their community’s sole water source at risk and destroy sacred Native American sites.
Shortly after the statement was released, Ruffalo took to Twitter, replying to one tweet and retweeting one post from a fellow protestor about the Army’s decision.
“Congratulations my dear relations!” Ruffalo wrote, replying to a tweet that said, “ALERT! The Army Corps of Engineers will NOT grant the final easement to #DakotaAccess! Huge WIN!!! #NODAPL
“BREAKING NEWS: US Army Corps of Engineers to halt work on #DakotaAccessPipeline! Power of people and peace and prayer. #standingrock #NoDAPL,” wrote another protestor, whose message was retweeted by Ruffalo.
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Celebrities continue to lend their support for the cause, which received significant attention when Woodley was arrested in October while participating in a protest.
Woodley, who streamed her arrest via Facebook Live, was charged with criminal trespassing. The actress was a mere few feet from her vehicle when she was stopped by cops.
“I was walking back to my RV, which is right there so that we can go back to camp peacefully and they grabbed me by my jacket and said that I was not allowed to continue,” she said at the time. “But why am I being arrested and no one else here is,” she asked the police, pointing to the group of people who were walking with her. “Is it because I’m famous? Is it because people know who I am?”