Getty Images

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Army has notified Congress that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, completing the four-state project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

The Justice Department filed court documents Tuesday including letters to members of Congress from Deputy Assistant Army Secretary Paul Cramer. The Army intends to allow the crossing under Lake Oahe as early as Wednesday.

The crossing is the final big chunk of work on the pipeline.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe worries a pipeline leak could pollute drinking water. It's promised to continue legal challenges.


A leader of Dakota Access pipeline opponents says protests will continue, despite an Army decision clearing the way for the $3.8 billion project's completion.

Phyllis Young is a leader at the encampment near Lake Oahe where hundreds and sometimes thousands of opponents have gathered since last summer. She says the Army decision to end study and allow the pipeline to cross under the Missouri River reservoir is disappointing but expected.

Young is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which worries a pipeline leak could pollute its drinking water.

She calls the anti-pipeline effort "our life struggle," and says it will continue "however we have to do it."

The tribe has promised to fight completion of the project in court. Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline is safe.