Cyndy Coppola was arrested for standing on her own property as she tried to block Dakota Access Pipeline construction equipment from crossing her land.
“It was very frustrating, and when I first saw that topsoil piled up when they started digging, my first reaction was to cry, because we’ve tried everything.”
Coppola, as well as nine other local farmers, are suing Energy Transfer Partners for the seizure of their property. They are arguing that the move stands in complete violation of Iowa state law. The pipeline has generated controversy for most of this year, inspiring the largest gathering of Native American tribes in recent history to fight the project. They, as well as environmental activists, argue that the pipeline will poison the water and destroy the sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The evidence stands on their side, as the company that will be tasked with managing the pipeline after its construction has been responsible for more leaks than any of their competitors, with over 200 recorded leaks since 2010. The most recent of these happened over the weekend when a Sunoco pipeline leaked 55,000 gallons of gasoline into one of the nation’s most endangered rivers.
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