"The Army made a stunning admission earlier this month when it announced its decision to require a deeper environmental review and more extensive consultation before deciding whether to grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In its consultations with the Standing Rock Sioux about the pipeline crossing underneath Lake Oahe within a half mile of the reservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purposefully withheld key studies that could have helped the tribe evaluate the risks. One report modeled damage from potential spills; another weighed the likelihood of spills; a third compared alternative routes and discussed the environmental justice concerns raised by the project. The revelation highlights the federal government’s perception of its limited responsibility to consult with tribes even on matters that could threaten its welfare.
The contents of these documents, which have still not been released to the public, are unknown. “There’s this secret stuff that even we don’t have in the litigation. We were aware there were documents not available to us and we’ve been asking for them, ” Jan Hasselman, the tribe’s chief lawyer, says."