Monday, December 05, 2016

Opponents seek to tie up Dakota pipeline for years

The coalition of groups that opposed the Dakota Access pipeline are looking to tie up its fate for months or even years if President-elect Donald Trump seeks to undo the Obama administration’s decision Sunday to withhold an easement for its construction. Tribal groups and environmental activists cheered the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to reject a construction permit for the pipeline’s route across the Missouri River and instead conduct an environmental impact assessment of the project. It represented a huge victory for protesters who had set up a large and growing camp near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, but they separately signaled they are digging in for a longer fight. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) could take years to execute, meaning the move would delay the pipeline indefinitely. And while Trump could move to undo the EIS, groups opposed to the pipeline said this would trigger a legal fight that could tie up the project on its own. Jan Hasselman, an Earthjustice lawyer who represents Standing Rock in its lawsuit against the project, said any Trump move is “subject to judicial review” and that the tribe is planning to sue...more

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