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Judge: Dakota Access line can stay open pending Corps review

Dakota Access Pipeline
Posted at 4:14 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 18:14:07-04

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the Dakota Access oil pipeline can continue to operate while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts an extensive environmental review.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg announced his decision Friday.

Attorneys for the pipeline's Texas-based owner, Energy Transfer, argued that shuttering the pipeline would be a crushing economic blow to several entities, including North Dakota, and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation tribe.

For him to rule in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux, Boasberg said they had to “demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable injury” from the continuned operation of the pipeline, saying the tribe has “not cleared that daunting hurdle," the Associated Press reported.

Attorneys for the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes say the pipeline is operating illegally without a federal permit granting easement to cross beneath a Missouri River reservoir.

The Standing Rock, which draws its water from the Missouri River, says it fears pollution.

The company says the pipeline is safe.