Federal officials have denied the final permits required for the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday it would instead conduct an environmental impact review of the 1,170-mile pipeline project to determine if there are other ways to route the pipeline to avoid a crossing on the Missouri River.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said in a statement.
“The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The decision comes after months of protests against the proposed project. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe objects to the pipeline, warning that it threatens their drinking water supply.
Sunday’s decision is a major victory for the tribe, which sued against other permitting decisions for the project, pushed the Obama administration to deny it, and rallied tribal allies and anti-pipeline activists to their cause.
Click here to read more about President Obama’s decision to finally deny the permit.