Officials with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Canton, S.D., are investigating an alleged act of vandalism against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) just one day after it was declared active to handle the flow of petroleum through its line.
Police investigators were summoned to a remote area near Canton where they discovered a crack beneath a valve.
“It was definitely intentional, it wasn’t from the pipe flexing or anything like that,” said Lincoln County Chief Deputy Chad Brown in a phone interview with Reuters.
The South Dakota State Department of Criminal Investigations is said to be looking into the matter and has declared it an act of “felony vandalism.”
The damage inflicted comes as Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, the firm which constructed the pipeline and is responsible for its operation, filed court documents in which multiple acts of vandalism are recorded. Operators expected oil to begin flowing soon after all legal efforts to halt the line were rejected.
DAPL vandalism came three days prior to the White House announcing the Keystone XL pipeline would receive backing from the Trump administration. On Friday, the pipeline, once rejected by the Obama White House, was resuscitated by President Trump, who formally issued a permit to begin construction.
Mr. Trump signed an executive memo shortly after taking office in January to advance the construction of the pipeline after being stalled by the Obama administration for years. The president said at the time America’s energy security would be enhanced, gas prices at the pump would decrease and both would contribute to economic growth and create jobs.
“This announcement is part of a new era of American energy policy that will lower costs for American families, and very significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Trump said after granting formal approval for construction to begin.
An extension of an existing pipeline at a cost of $8 billion, the proposed XL extension originates in the western Canadian province of Alberta and will extend south to Steele City, Neb.
The existing Keystone pipeline continues further south to the Gulf Coast of Texas.
[Reuters] [RollCall] [Photo courtesy Reuters via New York Daily News]