Complete DAPL protest timeline: One year after camps were cleared

By  | 

It has been exactly a year since the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps were cleared out and shut down by law enforcement and the North Dakota National guard.

But, you have to go back more than two years to find the beginning of the saga.

In December of 2014, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) applied to the federal government for a permit to build the 1,200 mile Dakota Access pipeline.

It was projected to cost $3.8 billion and carry half a million barrels of oil a day.

On Jan. 20, 2016 North Dakota's public service commission approved its permit for 358 miles of the pipeline to be built in the state. ETP wouldn't get its final permit for construction from Iowa's PSC till March.

The first camp of 20 to 30 people was established on April first at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers. Camps in the area would later swell to thousands of people.

The Army Corps of Engineers still had to approve more than 200 water crossings for the pipeline, which they eventually did in July of 2016. Later in July The Standing Rock Sioux tribe sued the Army Corps and Dakota Access.

It would take until Aug. 10 for the first protester arrests to happen. Those arrests included actress Shailene Woodley and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

In September, a U.S. district judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux tribes attempt to halt construction. However, the same day the Department of Justice and the Interior Department delayed construction under Lake Oahe pending further review.

Toward the end of October law enforcement set up a roadblock and closed Highway 1806.

As the number of protesters swelled so did the violence at the camp. In late November, the Morton County Sheriff's Department says they used water hoses from Mandan Rural Fire Department fire trucks to keep protesters at a distance and put out fires on the Backwater Bridge. Other munitions used were Direct Impact Sponge Rounds, Drag Stabilizer Bean Bag Rounds, Riot Control CS Canisters and stinger balls.

Seventeen protesters were taken to hospital and one officer was also injured.

Protests continued through dangerous colds and record snowfall in December and January.

On Jan. 18, The Army Corps launched a full environmental study of the pipeline's disputed Lake Oahe crossing that could take up to two years to complete. However, the following week President Trump signed an executive order that allowed construction of the Dakota Access pipeline to continue.

After the order was signed the Corps granted an easement allowing the pipeline to be completed and the company immediately began drilling under Lake Oahe.

The tribes challenged the corps in court again. Their appeals were rejected and the camps were cleared out on Feb. 22 and 23.

Throughout March of 2017, protests continue across the country, and on March 27 oil was pumped through the pipeline and under Lake Oahe.