Arkansas: Rabbit Ridge Resistance Locks Out Diamond Pipeline Pump Station

     by Arkansas Rising

On the morning of September 18th, 2017, water protectors from the Rabbit Ridge Resistance conducted a safety lockout tagout on both gates of the Diamond Pipeline Pump Station in the interest of public safety. We also removed a racist Confederate Flag sign because it was the right thing to do.

The Lockout/Tagout device placed to prevent access and operation of this hazardous location.

In solidarity with sovereign rights of all indigenous people and exploited and oppressed people everywhere; in the interest of social justice and the elimination of racism, xenophobia, we have conducted, in accordance with common industrial safety procedures, an emergency lock-out/tagout operation of the Diamond Pipeline Damascus Pump Station Van Buren County, Arkansas. This action was taken by the people of the Natural State to protect the public safety.

This pipeline is unsafe. We know this from years of extensive monitoring, study, and observation supported with hard evidence–photos, federal regulation, and personal observations by experts.

Almost six months after the U.S. Corps of Engineers permit (USCOE) expired, rapid, unsafe, and shoddy construction practices continue violating OSHA, USCOE, and modern pipeline standards. Indigenous sacred areas associated with the Trail of Tears and newly identified locations are jeopardized. 14 Counties, 13 major rivers and creeks, 11 drinking water watersheds, 4 Arkansas NRC Priority Watersheds, 10 Critically Endangered Species, 2 Nuclear reactors as well as major portions of the Arkansas and Mississippi River, 5 Heritage crossing sites, and countless homes, farms and property owners are affected.

Using an eminent domain provision of the State Constitution created in the last century, as well as very special Nationwide Work Permits from the USCOE, the Diamond Pipeline has been drilled, dug, and blasted across the Natural state. Plains-All American/Valero used every loophole on the books to avoid common sense review, mediation, and mitigation while misrepresenting those that opposed the threat as terrorists.

This pipeline project ends today. Future interventions in the interest of common public safety must occur.

We demand that Governor Asa Hutchinson:

– Invoke executive authority for the protection of the people, lands, and wildlife of Arkansas

– Conduct a complete review of all the information concerning pipeline safety and construction irregularities BEFORE any more construction and BEFORE any petroleum products and derivatives enter the pipeline.

– Conduct complete review of use of law enforcement and security groups in the suppression of lawful 1st Amendment activities associated with protest and opposition to oil and gas industries.

– Invoke a complete moratorium on any OTHER use of eminent domain laws by private utility companies until effective procedures are in place to assess and provide public input to ANY use of those laws.

– Create a bonded, insurance fund to cover ANY potential damage caused by the leak, explosion, or faulty construction by any oil and gas infrastructure project.

–Rabbit Ridge Resistance

 

 

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