Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 25, 2017

U.S. says: 'Too dangerous to reveal risks of DAPL oil spills in Lake Oahe'

Standing Rock water protectors screenshot by Censored News from film AWAKE

U.S. Army Corps says it would endanger lives to reveal the truth of the risks of Dakota Access pipeline oil spills in Lake Oahe

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat

The Army Corps of Engineers says it would endanger lives if it reveals the truth about potential oil spills of Dakota Access pipeline in Lake Oahe. The U.S. Army Corps refuses to respond to a Freedom of Information Request by Muck Rock news.

The Army Corps counsel said he is withholding the facts, based on the U.S. law "which protects records compiled for law enforcement purposes and that if released could be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual. The referenced document contains information related to sensitive infrastructure that if misused could endanger peoples lives and property."
Muck Rock filed a Freedom of Information Request for more information on the assessment on the potential spills. Muck Rock's request comes after the potential spills were referred to in this document of the Army Corps of Engineers concerning the proposed pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe.

The risk of the oil spills to the Missouri River and the potential of contaminating the drinking water for millions, is the reason Native Americans and their allies have risked their lives to halt construction and the flow of crude oil beneath Lake Oahe.

Water protectors at Standing Rock have been beaten by militarized police, tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, blasted with water cannons in freezing temperatures, arrested in ceremonies and jailed in dog kennels in Morton County with numbers written on their arms as was done by the Nazis. More than 800 water protectors at Standing Rock were arrested in the defense of the water from Dakota Access pipeline.

Below: The Army Corps responds to Muck Rock's Freedom of Information request:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY US. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS HUMPHREYS ENGINEER CENTER SUPPORT ACTIVITY 7701 TELEGRAPH ROAD ALEXANDRIA, VA 22315-3860 April 21, 2017 Office of Counsel Mr. Michael Morisy MuckRock DEPT MR 34606 411A Highland Avenue Somerville, MA 02144-2516 Dear Mr. Morisy, This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (F OIA) request, dated March 7, 2017, in which you sought the assessment report on the potential impact of an oil spill of the Dakota Access Pipeline for the crossing of Lake Oahe in North Dakota. I am Withholding the requested document in its entirety pursuant to 5 US. C. 552(b)(7)(f) of the OIA which protects records compiled for law enforcement purposes and that if released could be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual. The referenced document contains information related to sensitive infrastructure that if misused could endanger peoples lives and property. For any further assistance and to discuss any aspect of your request, you have the right to contact the USACE Public Liaison at or by calling (202) 761-4791. Additionally, you have the right to contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to inquire about the OIA mediation services they offer. The contact information for OGIS is: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi College Park, Maryland 20740-6001, e-mail at ogis@nara. gov; telephone at 202?741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202741?5769. Finally, you have the right to appeal my decision to withhold this document to the Secretary of the Army. Your appeal package should bear the notation Freedom of Information Act Appeal and should be emailed to or sent to me at the address depicted on the letterhead above. Your appeal must be postmarked or electronically transmitted Within 90 days of the date of this response. Sincerely, RM Damon Roberts HECSA Counsel Printed on Recycled Paper

Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News


Unknown said...

Well, well, well, what is new with FOIA applications and their refusals, especially by Attorney Damon Roberts (heads the HECSA Section)
What the DOJ-FOIA section is not familiar with is that many of the Pipelines throughout this nation are, actually, illegally buried or placed in bored tunnels with no access and not real inspections/testing’s, just like the DAPL pipeline under Lake Oahe and the Missouri rivers. But what is even worse is the fact, which I have conveyed to USACE, the PUC of both SD and ND, BLM, EPA/OSHA and who have never responded to my comments.
The Pipeline under the Oahe Lake and the Missouri river is approximately 135 feet below the surrounding lands, which are part of the largest freshwater reservoir in these United States and called the Ogallala Aquifer (this serves folks from near the Canadian Border all the way to nearly Texas and is the source for more than nearly 200,000,000 peoples water and agriculture food growing).This does not include the folks down river from Standing Rock/Lake Oahe and the Missouri river of more than 35,000,000!
The DAPL line breaks under the Lake Oahe and Missouri river and to contaminates the Ogallala Aquifer for ever and cannot be cleaned up as the line is 135 feet deep!

So, to make the claims, Attorney Roberts has made are asinine and unfounded, when the total environmental safety of the Ogallala Aquifer is at stake.
All the drilling illegally done after the USACE Dec 4th, 2016 cease and desist order was given and never enforced, as promised is a national disgrace on the USACE and other law enforcement agencies who were aware of this stop order.
I am writing to Attorney Roberts through my State Senator, as we also have here in New England an illegal order issued by FERC [they cannot make a quorum as required by Congressional Law] yet the issued a cut and clear permit to Kinder Morgan and Algonquin, to lay a gas pipe-line under a lake and then several rivers - wow, if this was a regular citizen he would be arrested and jailed etc.
But no, it is a huge gas/oil pipeline company with deep pockets and legal muscle against the regular folks who have objected.
Keep pressing forward and let us not take NO for an answer, when our lives and health including future generations to follow are at stake.


Thanks for that input Geoff Daly, the Aquafier supply's more drinking water then the missouri and they're both at risk?!

Unknown said...

Fatherofnoahpatrick, I followed up and my call was not accepted requesting the EIS on the Lake Oahe and Missouri Crossing, as it was confidential and will not affect the public water sources- BS.
Would not go any further and ended call. So the 202-761-4791 number is now like many agencies who Trump is gutting. Look at what the EPA has done today with the peer review board- fired them all and going to replace with crony folks who are self-interested in the industries they work for and would normally be under the EPA's Purview for violations and rules following.
We must not give up or in...enough genocide form the 1%, Wall St Mavens, Big Oil/Gas/Chemical industries polluting with impunity, you and every other person would be jcailed because we do not have enough clout or money to fight these SOB's.

Unknown said...

Thank you for fighting for clean water, and thank you Geoff for the intelligent comments. Worlds gone nuts!Keep fighting my friends!

Unknown said...

Twitter is censoring this.

Unknown said...

Leslie, Thank you. It does not matter what is removed from various web-social media sites, we just must keep reposting.
This Earth is being assaulted, by the President and his cronies gutting the agencies who have tried to protect this nation for many years. Since the White Man arrived over 250 years ago in different parts of "These United States" and swept/herded the Indigenous Native American Indians from their Ancestral Lands, they had occupied for more than a Thousand years [like many Indigenous Native Tribes who were invaded in this World by the White Man] onto basically "Waste Lands". Until the White Man, discovered Gold, Silver, Uranium, Coal, Oils, Gas and other minerals for mining and proceeded to illegally take these Treaties Lands without any recourse to the Tribes or their ways of life, water, air or health. No matter how the tribes protested or went to court about it- all controlled by White Men and big money! Here we are approaching 2020 and the Wall St mavens, Bankers, 1%, bullying-greedy rich folks and Big business, is about to end the recovery of Mother Earth. As the CO2 count is just under 411 PPB - the tipping has been reached, along with the President's pushing more drilling, mining, oil/gas pipelines, just to satisfy those few unethical, arrogant and greedy people. With no thought of tomorrow or even looking at alternatives; is all about the bottom line TODAY. If you speak to any of these arrogant people, about, what happens to their children and their grandchildren, they do not understand or really care as they are caught up in the moment. They have the attention span of a Gnat and just move onto another topic as, long as it is business! The current rallying, has, to continue unabated, using science, logic and pray, against those who feel they have more rights than those whose lands/property they want to destroy now or later [and it is always after they who made the decisions, have retired or left the company, that problems arise and nothing is done] NEPA/NHPA was passed by congress, except the responsibilities and enforcement of liabilities were never cemented down-just look at the Kalamazoo involving Enbridge, they claimed only 80,000 gallons leaked when it was more like 250,000 + and 100’s of acres of farmland, streams, drainage ditches, wetlands and the Kalamazoo river damaged. Less than 38% of the spilt oil has been cleaned up and much of it was covered up-same for the Ash Coulee Creek spill 130 miles north of Bismarck, more than 180,000 gallons apparently and again not all cleaned up (Ask, Bill Seus of ND NRD who is in charge, finding out problems with the clean-up and the drinking water quality on the reservation downstream from the spill).
I have sent testimony to USACE in DC/MA/ND/NE/MN on using of sealed Tunnels for placing any piping in for Oils/Gases. If there is a rupture, the oils/gases are contained in the Tunnels, easily cleaned up and repairs made. No toxic oils can leak into Mother Earth-which they will do if the Lake Oahe- Missouri River crossing pipes leak. There is no way these pipes can be accessed for clean-up or repair as they are over 135 feet below the ground, they run, through the Ogallala Aquifer, is the water source of over 200,000,000 people in the West to TX. Does not include the Missouri River, below Standing Rock, all the way to the GOM. Add too, climate problems; Methane gas leaks from pipes, valves, huge pumping stations and infrastructures. It has been reported that 15% of the world Methane emissions/leaks account for several Trillions of cubic feet of gases lost every year, wasted, some Burnt/Flared (affecting localized atmospheric conditions everyday-some are not burning correctly so add pollution to the atmosphere around local folk’s and health being affected.
I could go on but I am sure everyone who has read this knows' these companies are uncaring and oblivious to any problems they cause - bet they would not want a pumping

Unknown said...

dd to the previous comment, something occurred when posted:

I could go on but I am sure everyone who has read this knows' these companies are uncaring and oblivious to any problems they cause - bet they would not want a pumping station, flaring stack up wind of where they live or a pipeline near their million $$$$ homes?