An oil spill contaminating the environment could devastate the ecosystem. "There's a wide array of concerns there about water contamination for the Sioux tribe," Sarah Hanneken, litigation fellow at the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), told The Dodo. Animals would also suffer from contamination, she added.
Concerns about the pipeline's impacts on people, animals and the environment are serious.
"The main threat to wildlife from pipelines is from spills, and all pipelines spill eventually because nothing lasts forever," Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Dodo. "The companies building this pipeline have terrible track records and it is only a matter of when, not if, that these pipelines spill into the aquifers and rivers."