Equity, Sustainability and Resilience

Environmental Justice and Equitable Reinvestment

The Honor the Earth Pipeline Mapping and Impacts Project

Situation

The Sandpiper pipeline would carry crude oil from the Bakken shale region in North Dakota to Superior, Wisconsin, for refining. The proposed pipeline would cross much of Minnesota, passing through Native American lands and treaty land.

The tribal community was concerned that important resources were not assessed as part of the pipeline proposal. Protection of the area’s wild rice lakes, important to tribal culture and the economy, was a top priority. The Honor the Earth organization requested assistance in understanding the potential impacts of pipeline construction.

Solution

Skeo worked with EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and Honor the Earth to gather data and develop a mapping-based assessment of tribal resource vulnerability along the proposed pipeline route. The assessment included sites of cultural significance such as wild rice lakes, burial mounds and hunting areas, sites of ecological significance, and risks to drinking water and groundwater quality.

 

Outcomes

Our work provided Honor the Earth and its tribal government partners with a detailed mapping analysis to inform planning efforts and discussions with decision makers and community members. Skeo also developed brief overviews of each vulnerability and a presentation for community meetings. The Sandpiper pipeline is currently on hold, pending a more detailed environmental review.

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“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt