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dakota access

President Obama says the Dakota Access Pipeline could get rerouted.

In an interview with the website NowThisNews, Obama told the host, Versha Sharma, that the Army Corps of Engineers is examining whether the pipeline project can be moved elsewhere.

“As a general rule, my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans,” Obama said.

The Obama administration halted construction on a section of the pipeline in early September. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has resisted the proposed pipeline because it would run over sacred burial sites and dangerously close to their water supply.

Dave Archambault II, chair of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, welcomed Obama’s comments. “We applaud President Obama’s commitment to protect our sacred lands, our water, and the water of 17 million others,” he said, in an email statement. Archambault said he believes that the Obama administration “will do the right thing.”

Obama says it will be “several more weeks” before his administration figures out whether the dispute can be resolved in a way “that’s properly attentive to the traditions of the first Americans.”

Read Grist’s previous coverage of the fight over the proposed pipeline.