Judge’s Ruling Focuses Dakota Pipeline Opponents On Hearing Next Week


Publish Date:
June 15, 2017
  • Volcovici, Valerie,
  • Scheyder, Ernest
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Native American tribes scored a legal victory in their long-fought case against the Dakota Access pipeline, but it is unclear whether a judge will actually stop oil from flowing, even temporarily, when the parties meet again next week.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington on Wednesday ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers, in its environmental review of the Dakota Access line, did not fully consider the pipeline’s impact on the hunting, fishing and environmental justice rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe has been fighting the line for more than a year.

Deborah Ann Sivas, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program at Stanford Law School, said the normal remedy under the National Environmental Policy Act would be to stop operations during the review period.

She said NEPA’s purpose is to “ensure that decisionmakers are informed about project impacts, alternatives, and mitigation before they allow a project to go forward.”

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