FARGO - The Dakota Access Pipeline is up and flowing, the pipeline's operator said Thursday, June 1.
The $3.8 billion pipeline began transporting oil for customers despite pending litigation against its operator, Energy Transfer Partners, in Washington.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe maintains the pipeline operator did not complete a full and public environmental review, and that President Donald Trump ignored the treaty rights of the tribe by taking executive action to approve the pipeline.
"This pipeline became operational today, yet it has already leaked at least three times," said Dave Archambault II, Standing Rock Sioux chairman. "This is foreboding as the company does not yet have a plan in place to address how they would contain and clean a serious spill."
The pipeline, along with the corresponding Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline, runs more than 1,100 miles from the Bakken region through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The system has a capacity of transporting 520,000 barrels of oil per day.
The start of operations does not mark the end of the legal battle, Archambault said.
"We will continue to battle the operation of this pipeline in court and remind everyone that just because the oil is flowing now doesn't mean that it can't be stopped."