Dakota Access pipeline developer slow to replace some trees
By BLAKE NICHOLSON
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees in North Dakota.
But Energy Transfer Partners says it's still complying with a September 2017 agreement settling allegations it violated state rules during construction.
ETP was accused of removing too many trees and improperly handling a pipeline route change. One thing it was required to do to avoid fines was plant a certain number of trees by the end of the year.
Documents the company recently provided to state regulators show it didn't meet that requirement. But it's falling back on a settlement provision that allows the work to continue in 2019 under certain circumstances.
State officials weren't immediately available for comment on whether they think ETP is justified in prolonging the plantings.
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