Company: Dakota Access pipeline on track to start this week

  • Company: Dakota Access pipeline on track to start this week

Company: Dakota Access pipeline on track to start this week

A hole was burned in an empty section of the pipeline in South Dakota, and others took a blowtorch to a safety valve in Iowa, according to authorities.

ETP officials have accused protesters multiple times of damaging company property and attacking workers during months of confrontations. In Lincoln County, South Dakota, the area wasn't fenced, and the incident happened Friday (March 17).

A torch may have been used to create the hole, causing about $30,000 to $60,000 in damage, Brown said. Brown says no suspects were immediately identified.

In Iowa, the Mahaska County Sheriff's Office is investigating a similar incident at a safety valve site about 60 miles southeast of Des Moines. Local and state officials are investigating and have notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Red Warrior Society, a pipeline protest group that advocated aggressive tactics such as confrontations with pipeline security and police in North Dakota a year ago, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The demonstrators said the pipeline could pollute water supplies and destroy sacred historic tribal sites.

The next activists who try to burn a hole through the Dakota Access pipeline may find that carbon pollution is the least of their problems.

Such attacks can pose environmental risks by potentially leading to spills, but Jay O'Hara, spokesperson for Climate Direct Action, told the AP that the real danger is the pipelines.

In October, Climate Direct Action activists tried to shut valves on oil pipelines in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Washington.

"I've done a little digging and I absolutely don't know who it was", Mr. O'Hara said.

Local and state officials are investigating the incident and have notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"The legal battle is still very much ongoing", Tracey Zephier, an attorney for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said Monday.

Boasberg's ruling said that the court "acknowledges that the tribe is likely to suffer irreparable harm to its members' religious exercise if oil is introduced into the pipeline, but Dakota Access would also be substantially harmed by an injunction, given the financial and logistical injuries that would ensue".

The highway, which closed in late October following Dakota Access Pipeline protests, has been reopening in phases.

Traffic would be allowed on Highway 1806 from Fort Rice, south of Mandan in the state's southwest, to the Cannonball Bridge near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation starting at noon, the Morton County Sheriff's Department and North Dakota Highway Patrol said in a statement.