U.S. Government Halts Part of Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Project Despite Court Ruling
The U.S. Government is halting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, even though a federal judge on Friday denied a request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to grant a temporary injunction to block construction.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Department of the Army and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement saying construction of the oil pipeline would not be authorized near the tribal reservation until the potential impact of the controversial project could be reexamined.
The 1,172-mile, 30-inch-diameter pipeline will connect the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. It will run through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, but it is in North Dakota where the $3.8 billion project has drawn the most controversy.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had earlier given the go-ahead to the project, but the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe maintains the project would violate the National Historical Preservation Act by disturbing sacred tribal burial sites. The tribe is also concerned that the project could jeopardize local water supplies.
The controversy has drawn hundreds of demonstrators to the construction site in protest against the project.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled against a temporary injunction to halt construction.
Shortly afterward, the Department of Justice, Department of the Army and Department of the Interior said in a joint statement that despite the court action, “important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.”
The agencies continued: “The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe [a large reservoir in North Dakota] until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws. Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.”
For related information, see September 9, 2016, article - Dakota Access Pipeline Draws Plenty of Controversy as Court Ruling Nears.
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