Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. ( ETP ) and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. ( SXL ), in their response to a statement from the Department of the Army, announced that the Administration's decision not to issue an "easement" to Dakota Access Pipeline at this time is a purely political action.
"The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing".
The head of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe called on Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents to return home after months of protests, in a bid to ease tensions at the site as winter weather arrived.
The pipeline project, which would have run 1,172 miles, is complete except for the section that would run beneath Lake Oae, a dam on the Missouri River.
Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. Clashes with police had turned violent in recent days, with law enforcement turning water hoses on protesters in below-freezing temperatures. "Today's unfortunate decision sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country".
The company constructing the pipeline, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, had said it was unwilling to reroute the project.
Interior Secretary Sally JewellSally JewellFeds deny permit for Dakota Access pipeline Green groups urge Obama admin to act before Trump takes office Penn Center, site of historic school for freed slaves, deserves to be a national monument MORE released a statement in support of the decision, saying it is in line with federal laws created to assess environmental impacts of infrastructure projects.
About 250 veterans gathered about a mile from the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires, camp for a meeting with organizer Wes Clark Jr., the son of former Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark.
"We have been asked by the elders not to do direct action", Wes Clark Jr. said.
Earlier Sunday, an organizer with Veterans Stand for Standing Rock said tribal elders had asked the military veterans not to have confrontations with law enforcement officials, adding the group is there to help out those who've dug in against the project. They haven't been following the law all along.
Authorities moved a blockade from the north end of the Backwater Bridge with the conditions that protesters stay south of it and come there only if there is a prearranged meeting. Instead, he told the veterans, "If you see someone who needs help, help them out".
On Monday, some veterans will take part in a prayer ceremony in which they'll apologize for historical detrimental conduct by the military toward Native Americans and ask for forgiveness, Clark said.
He said he's had a warm reception from people at the protests. "This is not just a native issue", he said, "This is an issue for everyone". He also said the veterans' presence at the campsite is "about right and wrong and peace and love".