Army plans Dakota Access oil pipeline environmental study

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Army has started the process of launching a full environmental study of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline’s disputed crossing of the Missouri River in North Dakota, though a federal judge could stop the effort. The Army published a notice Wednesday of its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement on the Lake Oahe crossing. Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners won’t be able to lay pipe under the reservoir while the study is ongoing — it is currently blocked from doing so anyway. A study could take up to two years, according to the Energy Department. ETP asked U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Tuesday to block the study; he scheduled a hearing for Wednesday afternoon in Washington, D.C. ETP wants Boasberg to rule on whether the company already has the necessary federal permissions to finish the pipeline under Lake Oahe, the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

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