Updates on Standing Rock/DAPL

Further to post on Standing Rock, two updates:

International – Tribal representatives have been invited to speak at a hearing at the IACHR in Washington, DC on Dec. 9, , 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., on the “Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Persons in the Context of Projects and Extractive Industries in the United States,” at the Padilha Vidal Room (TL Level), GSB Building of the Organization of American States, 1889 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.

U.S. – On Sunday, December 4, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) effectively put the pipeline project on hold. It decided not to grant an easement for portions of the DAPL sited on federal land on the current record, noting concerns over environmental justice, withheld information (including risk analysis), the history of dispossession of the Great Sioux Nation, the U.S. Mineral Leasing Act’s direction “to protect the environment, those who rely on fish and wildlife in the area for subsistence, and the public,” and the particular attention to be given to environmental effects of a project on Tribal resources under NEPA (the statute requiring environmental review). The ACOE will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate these and other issues.

Hillary Hoffman’s blog is a great analysis of some aspects of the ACOE action and domestic law issues.

An excellent analysis of the ACOE action by Jamison Colburn can be found at NEPA Lab.

Standing Rock goes to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

image001The Indian tribes protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) took the Standing Rock movement to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday, 2 December 2016. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and Yankton Sioux Tribe, with Earthjustice and the American Indian Law Clinic – UC Boulder, submitted a Request for Precautionary Measures Pursuant to Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure Concerning Serious and Urgent Risks of Irreparable Harm Arising Out of Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to the IACHR. (Petition links at Stand with Standing Rock website)

The Commission has the authority to,

on its own initiative or at the request of a party, request that a State adopt precautionary measures. Such measures, whether related to a petition or not, shall concern serious and urgent situations presenting a risk of irreparable harm to persons …

The United States is a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The petition makes three central claims:

  • the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should not grant an easement across federal lands;
  • the United States failed to adequately consult and to prepare an adequate assessment of environmental and social impacts of the pipeline, required under both U.S. and international law; and
  • the United States has failed to protect peaceful protestors.

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