Friday, September 09, 2016

Judge rejects tribe's request to block ND pipeline construction

A federal judge on Friday said construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline can move forward despite a tribe’s objections to the project. In a 58-page ruling, District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled that federal regulators and pipeline developers covered their bases during an assessment of the $3.8 billion pipeline’s impact on cultural sites in North Dakota. “The [Army] Corps [of Engineers] has likely complied with the NHPA and that the Tribe has not shown it will suffer injury that would be prevented by any injunction the Court could issue,” Boasberg wrote. “The motion will thus be denied." The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has accused the Army Corps of Engineers of failing to properly consider whether the 1,170-mile pipeline poses a threat to important areas in North Dakota. It sued the Corps in July, asking for an injunction against further pipeline construction while lawsuits over it move forward. Opposition to the pipeline has grown from tribal protests on the North Dakota prairie to a national fight over fossil fuel development and pipeline projects generally. Earthjustice represented the tribe in its lawsuit against the Army Corps, and other environmentalists have looked to pressure President Obama into rescinding construction permits for the project. The pipeline’s developer, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, has hoped to get the pipeline up and running by Jan. 1, 2017. It says it has completed 90 percent of the clearing process in North Dakota and that the project itself is about 50 percent complete...more

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