Local protester reacts to denied Dakota Access pipeline

Valencia resident Shawnee Badger points to a "NO DAPL" button. Samie Gebers/ The Signal

A heavily-protested easement that would have allowed the proposed Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a lake in North Dakota will not be approved by The Department of the Army, officials announced today.

The pipeline has been a source of hot debate for months, as Tribal officials have expressed concerns that their water supply and treaty rights could be at risk if the pipeline were to rupture.

People from around the country traveled to North Dakota to protest the proposed project, including some from the Santa Clarita Valley.

Last month Valencia resident Shawnee Badger traveled about 1,500 miles to the Peace Garden State in order to protest the pipeline.

“The news today is very encouraging, it’s definitely a step forward in the right direction,” Badger told The Signal Sunday afternoon.

But badger isn’t ready to hang up her protesting boots.

“I do think that the fight’s not over quite yet, just because the pipeline company is still trying to find any way they can to dig,” she said.

Army officials stated in a release that Sunday’s decision was based on “a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing” and that “the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.”

There is no word yet on when an Environmental Impact Statement is expected.

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