Judge allows Dakota Access pipeline to keep running

October 12, 2017

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Dakota Access oil pipeline can continue operating while a study is completed to assess its environmental impact on an American Indian tribe.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg's decision will come as a blow to the Standing Rock Sioux, who have argued that an oil spill from the pipeline under Lake Oahe - from which the tribe draws its water - could have a detrimental effect on the tribal community.

"Today's decision is a disappointing continuation of a historic pattern: Other people get all the profits, and the tribes get all the risk and harm," said Jan Hasselman, an Earthjustice attorney representing the tribe in an ongoing federal lawsuit through which Standing Rock and three other tribes still hope to shut down the pipeline.

Boasberg found that it is likely the Army Corps of Engineers will be able to justify previous decisions made while permitting the pipeline.

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