Dakota Access owner and tribes opposing pipeline meet in court

US federal judge denied a request by Native American tribes seeking a halt to construction of the final link in the Dakota Access Pipeline on Monday, the controversial project that has sparked months of protests from tribal activists seeking to halt the 1,170-mile line.

Standing Rock Sioux tribal member Chase Iron Eyes of the Lakota People's Law Project talks about his experience at Standing Rock and what's ahead at a free event 7-9 p.m.at Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., Seattle.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week granted a final easement to Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP.N), the company building the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), after President Donald Trump issued an order to advance the pipeline days after he took office in January.

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes have filed a lawsuit against the pipeline, saying it endangers their drinking water.

Once completed, the 1,172-mile pipeline will carry more than half a billion gallons of crude oil daily across four states, from North Dakota to IL.

"They asked for a temporary restraining order blocking construction of the project, which runs under the lake". The Standing Rock tribe has been asking protesters to leave.

Previous court filings by potentially affected tribes had made no mention of the Dakota Access Pipeline potentially compromising their ability to freely practice their religion.

Iron Eyes is helping lead opposition to the pipeline, which would move North Dakota oil to IL.

The Corps last Wednesday gave developer Energy Transfer Partners permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. Only a few hundred protesters remain, and crews have been removing tipis and yurts.

US District Judge James Boasberg heard arguments on Monday afternoon before a packed courtroom, and ruled from the bench that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe failed to show that it would suffer immediate, irreparable harm unless construction of the pipeline was halted right away. After all, the Washington D.C. judge was the same man who denied the tribes' request to halt the pipeline project last September. Judge Boasberg unceremoniously denied the Native American tribes' legal request with little time wasted. That's the last big section that would need to be completed before the pipeline could carry North Dakota oil to IL. The Army Corps of Engineers on February 8 granted the approvals needed for construction to continue, in the form of an easement to go through federal lands.

Construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline has been stalled for months because of opposition by several Sioux tribes and a massive protest movement that sprung up around it.

  • Eleanor Harrison