The decision, a defeat for environmentalists and the Standing Rock Sioux, is likely to be challenged.
The Army said Tuesday it will abandon an environmental study of the Dakota Access Pipeline and grant a permit that allows its completion.
Army Deputy Assistant Secretary Paul Cramer wrote in a letter to Rep. Raul Grijalva, ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, that the service planned to grant an easement allowing Energy Transfer Partners to build a section of pipeline in a bitterly disputed federal waterway.
The decision follows an executive action from President Donald Trump that sought to resume construction on the 1,172-mile oil pipeline despite objections from a Native American tribe living near its path in North Dakota and a halt ordered by former President Barack Obama last year.
“Today’s announcement allows for the final step, which is granting of the easement,” Acting Army Secretary Robert Speer said in a statement. He said another study on the project’s possible environmental impact was unnecessary, according to NBC News.
Pipeline opponents denounced the Army’s decision.
“Donald Trump will not build his Dakota Access Pipeline without a fight,” said Indigenous Environmental Network executive director Tom Goldtooth. “The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight ― it is the new beginning.”
Read more at Army Green-Lights Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline