Obama says Army Corps examining Dakota oil pipeline route

People protesting the construction on a four-state oil pipeline at a site in southern North Dakota gather at campground near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. About 300 people were at the campsite where protesters from across the country and members of 60 tribes have gathered in opposition to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline that will pass through Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
People protesting the construction on a four-state oil pipeline at a site in southern North Dakota gather at campground near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. About 300 people were at the campsite where protesters from across the country and members of 60 tribes have gathered in opposition to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline that will pass through Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is examining whether the Dakota Access oil pipeline can be rerouted in southern North Dakota to alleviate the concerns of American Indians.

Obama tells the online news outlet NowThis that his administration is monitoring the situation closely but will “let it play out for several more weeks.”

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe worries that the $3.8 billion pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois will threaten its drinking water and destroy sacred sites. Protests that have included clashes with police have gone on for several months in North Dakota.

Obama calls it “a challenging situation.” He says there’s an obligation for protesters to be peaceful and for authorities to show restraint.

The 1,200-mile pipeline is largely complete outside of North Dakota.