Inside the Fight Against Another New Pipeline That Could Threaten Native Lands

Native Americans across the country are continuing their fight against big oil.

This time, it’s led by Ramapough Lenape Nation, a tribe from the highlands near Mahwah, New Jersey. They’re trying to stop a proposed pipeline project that cuts through their ancestral land and some of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the highlands.

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George Bochis, VP of Development for Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC told Fusion that the 178-mile pipelines carrying crude and refined oil will meet the highest standards of safety and minimize environmental impact. But environmental activists and members of the tribe say the project poses a risk of a spill that could destroy sources of drinking water in New York and New Jersey.

“My tribe, the Ramapough Lenape Nation, we’ve always been the guardians of this land. Now with what’s going on we have to stand up again,” said Niish’wahkohmakwak, a member of the indigenous community that has set up a prayer camp against the pipeline since 2016.

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