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Excerpt: "The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe's drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline."

Flags fly at the Oceti Sakowin Camp in 2016, near Cannonball, North Dakota. (photo: Lucas Zhao/CCbyNC)
Flags fly at the Oceti Sakowin Camp in 2016, near Cannonball, North Dakota. (photo: Lucas Zhao/CCbyNC)

Court Finds Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law

By Earth Justice

15 June 17

Ruling: Trump administration shortcut environmental review; Court seeks additional briefing on whether to shut down pipeline

he Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline.

A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects.  

In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.” The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week.  

“This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a recent statement. “The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline, and President Trump hastily dismissed these careful environmental considerations in favor of political and personal interests. We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately.”

The Tribe’s inspiring and courageous fight has attracted international attention and drawn the support of hundreds of tribes around the nation.

The Tribe is represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, which filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for issuing a permit for the pipeline construction in violation of several environmental laws.

“This decision marks an important turning point. Until now, the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been disregarded by the builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Trump administration—prompting a well-deserved global outcry,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman. “The federal courts have stepped in where our political systems have failed to protect the rights of Native communities.”

The Court ruled against the Tribe on several other issues, finding that the reversal allowing the pipeline complied with the law in some respects. 

The $3.8 billion pipeline project, also known as Bakken Oil Pipeline, extends 1,168 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, crossing through communities, farms, tribal land, sensitive natural areas and wildlife habitat. The pipeline would carry up to 570,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois where it links with another pipeline that will transport the oil to terminals and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.

Read the decision.

For more background on this case, read the FAQ on this litigation. your social media marketing partner


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+24 # nice2bgreat 2017-06-15 12:34
There are political aspects to all these business dealing that are designed to put US taxpayers on the hook with or without a functioning pipeline -- essentially a win, win, win for the corporations (and politicians and lawyers who profit as consultants and lobbyists for corporations) by setting up legal avenues through Chapter 11 provisions [Investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS)] within NAFTA.

Such as with TransCanada Corp., who, after former President Barack Obama, (finally) rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, sued the US for $15 billion dollars; President Donald Trump, as with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), reversed Obama's decision and approved both Keystone XL and DAPL.

So unless a strong future US President cancels NAFTA, etc., and asserts that business dealings that are designed to trap US taxpayers into trillions of dollars of "projected profit" claims, whether it is banning of privatized prisons, and just name the unneeded unsavory business venture, it is likely that every major business dealing that exists has this aspect, designed to take advantage of Investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS).

ISDS are lose-lose for the general public, always financially, usually environmentally , and with National sovereignty.

ISDS (guaranteed profits) are the hidden side of dirty politics.

The judiciary is one of the few areas that environmentalis m actually wins. Yet US taxpayers will certainly be picking up the tab.
+28 # Texas Aggie 2017-06-15 14:31
The most important factor here isn't so much the traditional or religious significance, but that the pipeline is going to rupture at some point. That is a given and has happened so many times with other pipelines, particularly with pipelines owned by this particular company, that there is no serious argument that it isn't going to happen or that the likelihood of it happening are vanishingly small.

When it does rupture, it will spill oil into the Missouri River destroying the river as a source of water for everything from daily home use to irrigation to fishing to whatever else you use water for. That is what is going to happen and there is no way that it can be prevented. For that reason, this pipeline needs to be strangled in the bassinet.
+5 # treerapper 2017-06-15 21:58
There have already been several reported leaks and the pipeline is not yet fully functional. If full operation is allowed to go forward, the Missouri will be awash in filthy Bakan oil a tragedy for all living things.
-5 # RNLDaWy 2017-06-15 15:22
Good for the Indians! The first group to get screwed by the pooch White Rulers .. second being African Americans .. however, they benefit after the first decision to put the pipeline near a major city there .. and figured hell we'll put it here .. if it leaks . the Indians get it not us! So now they have to move it. Also most all supporting their cause don't give one red cent for their plight .. the phoney Global Warmists Climate Change Relionists of the Left took part for their 'cause' .. and now the Indians benefit .. but let's be clear only for that one reason and that alone ..
+1 # LionMousePudding 2017-06-16 23:26
+10 # Buddha 2017-06-15 16:25
As Commander in Chief, I wonder if Trump actually can just order the Army Corp of Engineers to crank out a false environmental report claiming the risks to reservation drinking water as nil. Even if he can't, just like obstructing justice by trying to get the FBI to drop its investigation, he would probably try it anyways. Keep your eyes open, Standing Rock Sioux.

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