Senator: Army Corp told to approve Dakota pipeline easement

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven says the Acting Secretary of the Army has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with an easement necessary to complete the Dakota Access pipeline.

Hoeven issued a statement Tuesday after he says Acting Army Secretary Robert Speer informed him of the decision. Hoeven said he also spoke with Vice President Mike Pence.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night. Hoeven spokesman Don Canton says that Speer's move means the easement "isn't quite issued yet, but they plan to approve it" within days.

Completion of the $3.8 billion project is finished except for a section under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The pipeline has been the target of months of protests.

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