The Illinois Commerce Commission gave the final nod of approval needed in a vote to increase capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline Wednesday.
Energy Transfer Partners plans to roughly double the amount of oil that can flow through the 570,000-barrel-a-day Pipeline.
The longstanding dispute has pitted proponents of the pipeline, who tout its economic benefit, against those who say it disrupts the environment and tribal lands. North Dakota’s Public Service Commission voted to expand the pipeline in February by building a pump in Emmons County.
Construction for it began for it earlier this month. Standing Rock’s Water Resources Director Doug Crow Ghost says he disagrees with the expansion and is hopeful legal action will halt its operation.
“We feel that this pipeline isn’t safe. Now to double the capacity of it, is almost a slap in the face, to the judicial system and to the environment,” Crow Ghost said.
A federal appeals court will hear arguments over the pipeline’s operation Nov. 4.