US Army Corps of Engineers
This may be of interest in 2017:
- Secretary of Defense: President-elect Trump will nominate General (ret) James Mattis
- US Secretary of the Army: Eric Fanning, as of May 17, 2016, appointed by the President; no fixed term
- US Under Secretary of the Army: Patrick J. Murphy, as of January 4, 2016; appointed by the President; term length -- no fixed term
- Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works): Jo-Ellen Darcy, appointed by President Obama, 2009; current activities -- cleaning out her office; updating her resume
- US Army Corps of Engineers: Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, assumed command May 19, 2016;
I posted that "chain of command" so that folks reading the story at The Williston Herald updating the DAPL could keep the players straight.
The green light is on for the red-lighted Dakota Access pipeline, but the picture is still murky when it comes to how things will unfold from here.
A memo prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sometime in December and contained in the paperwork filed Jan. 6 in U.S. District Court helps shed some light on what may occur, and also contains information that has, until now, been veiled from public view.
An official with the agency could not be reached to verify the exact timeframe of its preparation, but the memo references a December 2, 2016, meeting with the tribe in its conclusions, and Assistant Secretary to the Army Jo Ellen Darcy’s announcement was made December 4, 2016.
In the nine-page memo, Col. John W. Henderson of the Omaha District wrote that denying the easement would require a finding that the crossing was inconsistent with some aspect of the authorized purpose of the Lake Oahe project, or violated some other required parameter. An Environmental Assessment had already shown the former not to be the case, and Henderson lays out the remaining parameters that were met point by point.
The memo also mentions a December consultation with the tribe, held to discuss additional safety precautions that could be taken at the disputed crossing, as well as the risks in light of those additional steps and whether to issue the easement.
The three points are close in wording to what was ultimately published in a Federal Register notice that announced the start of a public scoping session for an Environmental Impact Statement to consider alternate routes.
Craig Stevens, with the MAIN Coalition, said the memo clearly shows that politics overrode an open and transparent public process, superseding it by political decisions that lay outside the known regulatory process.
“This memo demonstrates that the Army Corps of Engineers worked diligently — and in accordance with the law — to ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline was sited and constructed in the most environmentally and culturally sensitive manner possible,” he said.
It also showed, Stevens said, that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was going to issue the easement in December, until the Obama administration intervened.
“It’s now clear, and certainly unfortunate, that former assistant secretary of the Army, Jo Ellen Darcy, and other appointees in the Obama administration blocked the Corps’ work purely for political reasons,” he said. “We are pleased that President Trump is clearing the way for this and other important energy infrastructure projects to move forward.”
Much more at the link.