Judge denies tribes' request to halt pipeline

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Latest on the four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline (all times local):

2:10 P.M.

A judge has rejected a request by two American Indian tribes to halt construction of the remaining section of the Dakota Access oil pipeline until their lawsuit over the project is resolved.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, in Washington, D.C., issued his ruling Monday. He says he'll consider the request more thoroughly at a Feb. 27 hearing.

The Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux requested the temporary injunction last week after Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners got federal permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. That's the last big section of the $3.8 billion pipeline that would need to be constructed before it could carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois.

The tribes say the pipeline would endanger their cultural sites and water supply. They added a religious freedom component to their case last week by arguing that clean water is necessary to practice the Sioux religion.

The company called the religion argument a "last-minute delay tactic."

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12:55 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers is objecting to a request by the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes to stop construction of the final big stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Corps last Wednesday gave developer Energy Transfer Partners permission to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. That's the last big section needed before the pipeline could carry North Dakota oil to Illinois.

The tribes have asked a federal judge to block the work until their legal challenges of the pipeline are resolved. They maintain the project threatens cultural sites, water and their religion.

The Corps says in court documents that the tribes will have plenty of time to make their case before oil flows through the pipeline, and a work stoppage isn't warranted.

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9:10 a.m.

The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline says a judge should reject a request by the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes to stop construction on the final stretch of the $3.8 billion project.

Energy Transfer Partners takes issue with the tribes' argument that the work threatens its religion, which depends on pure water. ETP says the claim is "exceedingly tardy" and "not construction-related."

The Cheyenne River tribe filed the request last week, after ETP got permission from the Army to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. That's the last big section that would need to be completed before the pipeline could carry North Dakota oil to Illinois.

The Standing Rock Sioux later joined the request.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, in Washington, D.C., is hearing arguments Monday afternoon.

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7:55 a.m.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., is hearing arguments on whether to stop work on the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline until a legal battle with American Indian tribes is resolved.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux argue the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites. The tribes also say it threatens their freedom of religion, which depends on pure water.

Developer Energy Transfer Partners last week received final approval from the Army to lay pipe under the Missouri River in North Dakota - the final chunk of construction for the 1,200-mile pipeline to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

Work is underway. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is to hear arguments this afternoon on whether it should be stopped while the lawsuit plays out.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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