Nearly 200,000 gallons of oil leaks 150 miles from Standing Rock protesters


Water protectors march with support from US military veterans toward barricades on Highway 1806 blocking road access to the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline during a blizzard in freezing temperatures at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota on December 5, 2016. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez)

The Belle Fourche Pipeline has ruptured causing approximately 130,200 gallons of crude oil to spill into the Ash Coulee Creek, as well as the 46,200 gallons that have spilled into a hillside after a leak that began earlier this month went undetected, as The Washington Post reports.

The leak occurred in Belfield, N.D., only 150 miles from Cannonball, N.D. where protesters have been camped out for months in opposition of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers received a ruling to reroute the plan on Sunday Dec. 4.

The ruling came on the same day thousands of veterans vowed to “self-deploy” in support of and to protect the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The pipeline was scheduled to be constructed directly under Lake Oahe through the Standing Rock Reservation, where protests against the pipeline began on April 1.

The pipeline had achieved the fourth and final approval needed from the Iowa Utilities Board to OK the plan on March 11, 2016, even though the Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter that same day in support of conducting an environmental assessment of the project.

The Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students, an on-campus organization, helped facilitate a letter-writing campaign to show their disapproval of the pipeline construction. The organization’s president, Liana Derus, created the Facebook event called Letter Writing And Calling Reps For Standing Rock.

“I’d like to thank the Water Protectors for their tireless efforts to stop the pipeline,” Derus said. “This is a win for indigenous sovereignty and environmental justice. We have won one battle against DAPL, but have not won the war yet. Yet, we need to find joy in every victory.”

The SF State Chapter of the California Faculty Association has also expressed their opposition of the construction of the pipeline.

“We must remain vigilant and be prepared to respond,” Sheila Tully, president of the CFA SF State chapter, said. “This fight for environmental justice is not over.”