A civilian leader in the Army made the decision to deny an easement to the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline despite Army Corps of Engineers recommendations that it be granted, according to officials and a document, NBC News reported.
But because of the pipeline's size — 30 inches in diameter — its approval went to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, an official said.
"Ms. Darcy had the authority to make the decision on behalf of the Department of the Army, and she did so," Darcy spokesperson Moira Kelley told NBC News Tuesday evening.
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Sunday's decision was hailed as a victory by protesters who oppose the pipeline, saying its construction threatens land believed to be sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and could threaten its drinking water. The activists call themselves "water protectors."