Lawyers for the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux wanted Judge Boasberg to block construction with a temporary restraining order
Tribal flags catch the wind in the opposition camp against the Dakota Access oil pipeline near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester, photo: Reuters/Terray Sylvester
13 of February 2017 16:27:31
WASHINGTON – A U.S. 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.Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., at a hearing, rejected the request from the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who had argued that the project will prevent them from practicing religious ceremonies at a lake they say is surrounded by sacred ground.With this decision, the legal options for the tribes continue to narrow, as construction on the final uncompleted stretch is currently proceeding.[caption id="attachment_48562" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Crews remove waste from the opposition camp against the Dakota Access oil pipeline near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. Photo: Reuters/Terray Sylvester[/caption]The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week granted a final easement to Energy Transfer Partners LP, 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.Lawyers for the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux wanted Judge Boasberg to block construction with a temporary restraining order, saying that the line would obstruct the free exercise of their religious practices."We're disappointed with today's ruling denying a temporary restraining order against the DakotaAccess Pipeline, but we are not surprised," said Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, in a statement.The company only needs to build a final 1,100-foot connection in North Dakota under Lake Oahe, part of the Missouri River system, to complete the pipeline.The line is set to run from oilfields in the Northern Plains of North Dakota to the Midwest, and then to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, and could be operating by early May.