Dakota Access protesters disrupt train traffic

North Dakota Pipeline protesters stand in creek
Dozens of protestors demonstrating against the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline wade in cold creek waters confronting local police, as remnants of pepper spray waft over the crowd near Cannon Ball, N.D., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Officers in riot gear clashed again Wednesday with protesters near the Dakota Access pipeline, hitting several dozen with pepper spray as they waded through waist-deep water in an attempt to reach property owned by the pipeline's developer. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) – The Latest on protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Hundreds of protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline gathered outside a work staging area west of Mandan, North Dakota, and disrupted freight train traffic.

Morton County sheriff’s spokesman Rob Keller says protesters on Tuesday morning put a pickup truck and tree branches on BNSF Railway tracks. It wasn’t immediately clear how many trains were affected.

Officers in riot gear responded. There were no immediate reports of arrests.

Mandan is about 50 miles north of a camp where hundreds of protesters have gathered in recent months to oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline that’s to carry North Dakota oil to a shipping point in Illinois.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was slated to visit the camp later Tuesday. He’s an environmental attorney and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, which seeks to protect watersheds worldwide.

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10:55 a.m.

The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is seeking a federal court’s permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota and finish the four-state project.

The Army Corps of Engineers called Monday for more study and input from the Standing Rock Sioux before it decides whether to allow the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The tribe says the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and a subsidiary are asking U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to confirm the company has the legal right to proceed.

The Corps in July granted ETP the permits needed for the crossing, but it said in September that further analysis was warranted given tribal concerns.

ETP says additional delay amounts to politic interference.

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8:40 a.m.

The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline is denouncing a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to delay an easement to cross a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren said in a statement Monday that the decision is “motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules.”

The Corps wants more studies and tribal input before it decides whether to allow the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The Standing Rock Sioux says the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites. Protests have been ongoing for months.

ETP says it will “vigorously pursue its legal rights.”

The 1,200-mile pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois is largely complete outside of the river crossing.

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8 a.m.

The Standing Rock Sioux chairman says the decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to delay an easement for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline indicates protests against the project are succeeding.

The Corps said Monday it needs more studies and tribal input before it can decide whether to allow the oil pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. The tribe says the pipeline would threaten drinking water and cultural sites. Protests against its construction have been ongoing for months.

Chairman Dave Archambault said in a statement that the Corps’ decision is encouraging and shows the demonstrations are bringing the tribe’s concerns to light.

An industry group supporting the pipeline criticized the Corps’ decision. The MAIN Coalition called it an attempt at “death by delay.”

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6:15 a.m.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is slated to join protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.

Also Tuesday, activists have called for demonstrators to protest at Army Corps of Engineers offices and offices of banks that are financing the pipeline project. The protesters want President Barack Obama to permanently halt the construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline.

Kennedy is an environmental attorney and president of the New York-based Waterkeeper Alliance, which seeks to protect watersheds worldwide.

The pipeline is to run beneath a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota that provides drinking water to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which says the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites.

The pipeline would deliver oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.

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