Pipeline protestors halt Norman board meeting

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NORMAN, Okla.-- Protesters made sure they were heard at the Norman Board of Adjustment meeting Wednesday night after an appeal to throw out a permit for the All-American Plains Pipeline was denied.

After dozens of people began chanting police stepped in and the board left the room.

"This is about water quality. This is about protecting wildlife. This is about combating systemic environmental racism," Casey Holcomb, a protest organizer, said.

Members of several tribes were present at the meeting.

Nation leaders said they do not want the pipeline running through their sacred land.

"Caddo artifacts and human remains are found all over the state. We also have some sites that are directly south of here,” Caddo Nation Chairman Tamara Francis-Fourkiller, said. “So for the Caddo Nation not to have been informed that's an atrocity.”

Plains All-American sent News Channel 4 the following statement:
We’re confident that our application for a Floodplain Permit from the city of Norman was complete and that the Norman Floodplain Committee properly issued our permit for construction of the Red River Pipeline last month. We look forward to the opportunity to respond to the city’s Board of Adjustment Wednesday afternoon. Plains All American Pipeline is committed to designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the Red River Pipeline in a safe and reliable manner, meeting or exceeding the required safety, design, construction and operating standards. The pipeline route was selected to minimize impact to the environment and to threatened or endangered species, and Plains has secured all the necessary access rights for the pipeline from affected property owners. We conducted the required environmental and archeological studies and we’re constructing the Red River Pipeline under the applicable permits. We have engaged with stakeholders such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Tribal governments and the State Historical Preservation Office as mandated throughout this process, and will continue to do so as the circumstances require.”

Despite the company’s explanations protestors are not backing down.

"When an oil company comes to us and tells us that they have regulations, that no spills are going to happen. How can we believe them? At what point have we ever been told the truth," Jacob Shaw said.

News Channel 4 reached out to the Board of Adjustment for comment. We are waiting to hear back.

Protesters said they plan to appeal the board’s decision.

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