Demonstrators celebrate Army Corp's decision to deny DAPL easement

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MORTON COUNTY, N.D. (KFYR) -- After the US Army Corps of Engineers denied the final permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline Sunday, protest camps in Southern Morton County, North Dakota erupted in celebration.

It's a celebration months in the making.

The Dakota Access pipeline easement to cross the Missouri River has been denied.

"We jumped up and down, hugged each other," said one protester.

News of the easement's denial came in at around 3:30 Sunday afternoon. Since then cars have been streaming in and out of the camp, people have been celebrating, they've been singing and they've been praying.

Chairmen Dave Archambault thanked those who have joined the movement.

"That pipeline had every right to go through but because of the support that we have and the people who gather and are a part of this, we are able to build enough noise to help America understand," Archambault said.

Protesters admit this fight may not be over.

"We're slowly getting there, winning this thing, but there's going to be a few battles to go through to win this," said Maurine Archambault, Standing Rock.

But for now, protesters will celebrate their hard-fought victory.

The Army Corps says it will do a full Environmental Impact Study to consider alternate routes.

Dave Archambault says this decision will allow people to spend winter with their families. That's welcome news for law enforcement.

"We've all been asking for a decision, the decision's been made," said Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney. "Whether people are happy about it, whether people are upset, it's really irrelevent to me. What I want is de-escalation and what we all want is Morton County to go back to normal and all of our lives to go back to normal."

The decision was a surprise to both sides. Protestors could be heard cheering from where law enforcement has been stationed.

Sheriff Laney says the line of cars stretching to get into the camp was the longest he has seen and guessed that many were coming to celebrate.

The Standing Rock Tribal Leader said in a statement that they look forward to returning home and spending the winter with their families, which is something law enforcement can agree with.

"We look forward to the day where I can point my people east and say, 'Let's go back to the county where people want us, need us and want to be,'" said Laney.

Sheriff Laney says he hopes he can return to Cass County within the week.



 
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