The Science and Environmental Health Network


Blog, Updates, and In the News

Crafting the New Story.png

Dear President Obama: NoDAPL

November 1, 2016  Dear President Obama,   Your administration is in the midst of reviewing the permits for Dakota Access’ crude oil pipeline as described in a memo released Sept. 9th, 2016. We strongly urge you to expand the review to the entire pipeline route and not limit it to the Missouri River crossing at Lake Oahe north of Standing Rock North Dakota. This review must include a full Environmental Impact Statement and appropriate and sufficient consultation with the Tribes across the entire length of the pipeline.   It would be disingenuous to limit the Administration’s review solely to the Missouri River crossing since the permitting failures that led to both the Sioux lawsuits and your memo extend down the entire length of the pipeline. The permitting process failed to consider

  • that this pipeline covers wider traditional and treaty territories of the Sioux in South Dakota and Iowa. Sioux land is not limited to Standing Rock or even that tiny corner of North Dakota.
  • environmental injustices built into the crude oil siting process are suffered by Indigenous peoples as well as rural people;
  • the long-term and cumulative impacts of the pipeline on water and climate.

The Nationwide Permitting Process simply was not designed to manage a project as vast as Dakota Access.   Therefore we ask that your administration include in its permit review:   1) Tribal consultation across the entire pipeline route. Tribal consultation must not be limited to the single crossing at the Missouri River. In June a Sioux sacred site in an Iowa Wildlife Management Area was identified by Sioux Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.  Sioux land is not limited to Standing Rock and therefore the review and tribal consultation must extend to the entire Treaty lands that are crossed by Dakota Access.  This requires meaningful, Nation-to-Nation, tribal consultation over most of the length of the entire pipeline and tribal consent for those portions of the pipeline that cross lands of Native nations.   2) Use federal siting criteria that lead to equal protection of Tribal and rural peoples.  Rural areas, including tribal areas are not treated the same as highly populated areas during the siting or operation of crude oil pipelines.  So Bismarck is given deference but Standing Rock N.D. and Boone, IA are not.  Tribal and rural areas are considered “low consequence” and therefore not subject to the same construction standards, the same monitoring requirements, nor do they have a robust emergency response plan.  Rural and tribal areas deserve the same safety protections as others.  Despite being in low-density areas, the pipeline would cross major drinking water sources that impact hundreds of thousands of people. These areas should not only be considered high priority, the pipeline should not be allowed to cross any major drinking water source.   3) The entire pipeline must undergo a full Environmental Impact Statement.  The impact of this pipeline is so great, the failure to require a full environmental impact statement is nothing short of irresponsible. The threats to our water, land, soil, climate and many people’s livelihood is too great to have not been considered.   Therefore, we strongly urge your administration to both deny the Sect. 408 permit at Standing Rock and to withdraw the other permits until the entire project has had proper tribal consultation, proper federal siting criteria used, and has undergone a full environmental review, consistent with its scope.    For further information, contact Carolyn Raffensperger, Science and Environmental Health Network and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition at 515-268-0600 or




Carolyn Raffensperger Executive Director Science and Environmental Health Network   Winona LaDuke Honor the Earth Minnesota   Fred Kirschenmann President Kirschenmann Family Farms Medina, ND   Barbara Warren Executive Director Citizens' Environmental Coalition New York   Stephen M. Kretzmann Executive Director Oil Change International Washington, DC   Erin Switalski Executive Director Women’s Voices for the Earth Missoula, MT   Kimberlee Wright Executive Director Midwest Environmental Advocates, Inc. Madison, WI   Ann Manning Coordinator Women’s Congress for Future Generations Minneapolis, MN   Jane Kleeb President, Bold Alliance Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Louisiana   Kevin Whelan Executive Director Minneapolis, MN   Tracey Easthope, MPH Principal Sprout Consulting Ann Arbor, MI   Matt Ohloff Climate Justice Organizer Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Des Moines, IA   Judy Braiman Empire State Consumer Project Rochester, NY   Mariel Nanasi Executive Director New Energy Economy Santa Fe, NM   Liz Kirkwood Executive Director FLOW (For Love Of Water) Traverse City, MI   Todd Leahy Deputy Director New Mexico Wildlife Federation Albuquerque, NM   Michael Green, MS, MPP Chief Executive Officer Center for Environmental Health Oakland, CA   Eleanor Bravo National Pipeline Campaign Director Food &amp; Water Watch Albuquerque, NM   Fran Teplitz Executive Co-Director; Business, Investing &amp; Policy Green America Washington, DC   Shelley Silbert Executive Director Great Old Broads for Wilderness Durango, CO   Osprey Orielle Lake Co-Founder/Exec.Dir. Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) Co-Chair International Advocacy, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature San Francisco Bay Area, CA   Adriana Voss-Andreae Executive Director Portland, OR   Bridget Holcomb, Executive Director Women, Food and Agriculture Network Ames, IA   Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, President National Lawyers Guild New York, NY   Mariah Urueta Michigan Organizer Food &amp; Water Watch Detroit, MI   Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN Executive Director Clean and Healthy New York Albany, NY   Pamela Miller Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics and IPEN Co-Chair Anchorage, AL   Tirso Moreno, General Coordinator Farmworker Association of Florida Apopka, FL   Judy Robinson Executive Co-Director, Coming Clean Brattleboro, VT   Catherine Thomasson Executive Director and Kathy Attar Toxics Program Manager Physicians for Social Responsibility Washington, DC   Carol Westinghouse President Informed Green Solutions East Burke, Vermont   Dr. Kathleen Burns Director Sciencecorps Newbury, MA   Sharon Day, Executive Director Indigenous Peoples Task Force Minneapolis, MN   John Horning, Executive Director WildEarth Guardians Santa Fe, NM   Judy Braiman Empire State Consumer Project Rochester, NY   Dennis Jerome Spotted Tail, direct descendant and grandson of Sinte Gleska (Chief Spotted Tail) on behalf of the Sinte Gleska tiospaye (family) Parmelee, SD on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation   Bruce Noble Founder and Administrator Wisconsin Grassroots Pipeline Awareness Madison, WI   Guy Wolf, CARS-LaCrosse (citizens acting for rail safety) Stoddard, WI   Amy Ziff Founder &amp; Executive Director, Made Safe &amp; Nontoxic Certified Irvington, NY   Justin Schott, Executive Director EcoWorks Detroit, MI   Juliette Majot, Executive Director Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Minneapolis, MN   Duane Ninneman, Executive Director CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) Montevideo, MN   Nicole Rom Executive Director Climate Genderation: A Will Steger Legacy Minneapolis, MN   Jill Merritt Leadership Team Elders Rising Salt Lake City, UT   Lydia Avila Executive Director The Power Shift Network   John Blair President Valley Watch, Inc. Evansville, IN   Mary Shesgreen Chair Fox Valley Citizens for Peace &amp; Justice Elgin, IL   Mahyar Sorour Environmental Justice Organizer Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) Minneapolis, MN   Deni Mathews Chair Save Our Illinois Land (SOIL)   Phyllis Hasbrouck Co-coordinator 350 Madison Madison, WI   Deborah Dee 100 Grannies—Uniting for a Livable Future Iowa City, IA   Peggy Salazar Executive Director Southeast Environmental Task Force Chicago IL   Vanessa Green Campaign Director Divest Invest Individual   Liliana Castillo Communications Director Conservation Voters New Mexico &amp; CVNM Education Fund   Peter Vander Meulen Coordinator Christian Reformed Church in North America, Office of Social Justice Grand Rapids, MI   Erich Pica President Friends of the Earth Washington, DC   Robby Diesu National Coordinator, on behalf of the Advisory Council Stop the Frack Attack Washington, DC   Evan Weber Executive Director U.S. Climate Plan Washington, DC   Bill Wood Executive Director West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) Grand Rapids, MI   Robin Milam Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature Grass Valley, CA   Bob Gough Intertribal Council On Utility Policy Rosebud, SD   Kari Carney, Executive Director 1000 Friends of Iowa Des Moines, IA   Thomas Krystofiak Chairman Jefferson County Community Rights Network Fairfield, IA   Inga Frick, Executive Director Southeast Iowa <a href=""></a> Fairfield, IA   Sharon Donovan Chairwoman Occupy the World Food Prize Des Moines, IA   Michael Garfield Director Ecology Center Detroit, MI   Travis Idol President Hawaii Interfaith Power and Light   Rivka Fidel Publicity Chair ISU ActivUs Ames, IA   Christine Nobiss Co-chair Indigenous Iowa Iowa City, IA Nation - George Gordon Plains Cree/Salteaux First Nation   Cheryl Valenta Coordinator IOWA 350 Cedar Rapids, IA   Patrick Bosold Executive Director No Bakken Here group of Jefferson County, IA Fairfield, IA