OMAHA - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers renewed its call Wednesday, Nov. 9, for Dakota Access Pipeline to voluntarily stop construction near Lake Oahe, citing concerns for people involved with continued protests north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
"We are concerned over recent statements from DAPL regarding our request to voluntarily stop work, which are intended to diffuse tensions surrounding their operations near Corps-managed federal land until we have a clear path forward," said Col. John W. Henderson, commander of the Omaha district, in a statement released late Wednesday.
The Army Corps asked Dakota Access on Nov. 4 to voluntarily stop construction for 30 days to allow for tensions to de-escalate, Henderson said.
Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, said Tuesday the company would not agree to halt construction. Dakota Access said the company has completed construction of the pipeline on each side of Lake Oahe and is mobilizing horizontal drilling equipment in preparation to drill under Lake Oahe.
The Army Corps has not issued an easement for the Lake Oahe crossing.
Representatives from the Army Corps also have met recently with tribal officials and agreed to work proactively to defuse tensions between demonstrators and law enforcement, Henderson said.
"We again ask DAPL to voluntarily cease operations in this area as their absence will help reduce these tensions," Henderson said.
Previously, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior had asked Dakota Access to voluntarily pause construction within 20 miles of Lake Oahe, but the company did not comply with the request.