Army Corps of Engineers denies Dakota Access pipeline route

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CANNON BALL, N.D. — The secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers told Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II Sunday that the current route for the controversial Dakota Access pipeline will be denied.

"Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it's clear that there's more work to do," the Army's Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy said in a statement Sunday evening. "The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing."

Related: 'Water Is Life': A Look Inside the Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters' Camp

As word spread through the protest camp in Cannon Ball, N.D., cheers could be heard breaking out.

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Protestors celebrate Dakota Access pipeline decision
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Protestors celebrate Dakota Access pipeline decision

Native American and other activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Sioux Tribes Standing Rock reservation, ending a months-long standoff.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Activists celebrate at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The Army Corps of Engineers told Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Archambault Sunday that the current route for the Dakota Access pipeline will be denied.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

A line of cars waits to enter the Oceti Sakowin camp as activists celebrate after the Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline to continue adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

A woman celebrates in the Oceti Sakowin camp after making a 150 mile canoe trip from Washington St. during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. December 1, 2016.

(REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)

Oglala Sioux tribal elder Lance King's headdress is pictured during celebrations after the Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Activists celebrate at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota, after hearing that the Army Corps of Engineers has denied the current route for the Dakota Access pipeline. The US Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday announced they will no longer allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, marking a huge win for Native Americans and protesters who had long opposed the construction.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Native American and other activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Sioux Tribes Standing Rock reservation, ending a months-long standoff.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Activists celebrate at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota, after hearing that the Army Corps of Engineers has denied the current route for the Dakota Access pipeline. The US Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday announced they will no longer allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, marking a huge win for Native Americans and protesters who had long opposed the construction.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists celebrate at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota, after hearing that the Army Corps of Engineers has denied the current route for the Dakota Access pipeline. The US Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday announced they will no longer allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, marking a huge win for Native Americans and protesters who had long opposed the construction.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists celebrate at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota, after hearing that the Army Corps of Engineers has denied the current route for the Dakota Access pipeline.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

People celebrate in Oceti Sakowin camp as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. December 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)

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Federal government officials had given activists, which include Native American tribe members and non-members alike, a Monday deadline to vacate the camp because of worries about the plunging temperatures.

The planned route for the 1,172-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline would have run within a half-mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and crossed beneath the Missouri River.

Opponents had said the pipeline would adversely impact drinking water and disturb sacred tribal sites.

The Obama administration had on multiple occasions asked that Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project, voluntarily stop construction. But the installation of hyper-beam lights there last month shows that request has been ignored.

Gallery: Dakota Pipeline Protesters Defy Winter's Chill

Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren, who remained publicly silent on the pipeline for months as protests forced a halt in the pipeline's construction, told NBC News in an interview in November that he was "100 percent sure that the pipeline will be approved by a Trump administration," regardless of what the Army Corps ultimately decides.

Former presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., released a statement saying, "I appreciate very much President Obama listening to the Native American people and millions of others who believe this pipeline should not be built."

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