This piece is republished with permission from InsideClimate News, a nonprofit, nonpartisan national news outlet.
Oil began flowing through the controversial Dakota Access pipeline starting Thursday, but there is still no oil spill response plan in place for the section of pipe that crosses the Missouri River just upstream from the Standing Rock reservation. The company won’t be required to have emergency response cleanup equipment stored near the river crossing for another year, either.
The lack of rigorous safety measures for the crude oil pipeline is raising concerns from lawyers and pipeline consultants for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose protests and legal fight against the Dakota Access pipeline became a flashpoint for environmental justice and indigenous rights last year.
Despite the prolonged resistance, the pipeline began operating Thursday, after President Donald Trump issued an order expediting its approval