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DAPL expected to start pumping oil soon

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Pipelines,

News sources have reported that on 7 March, US District Judge James Joasberg for the District of Columbia denied a request by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River tribes to temporarily halt construction of the final section of the much disputed Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL).

The tribes had requested for the judge to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw its permission to lay pipe under Lake Oahe, arguing that completion of the pipeline would harm their source of drinking water and damage cultural sites.

Explaining his decision, Judge Boasberg highlighted that the case was originally filed last summer. In December 2016, according to Reuters, the tribes won a reprieve from the Obama administration. However, with the election of President Donald Trump and his signing of an executive order in Januray of this year, their victory was short-lived.

The Two-Way cited Judge Boasberg as stating: "Upon assuming office, President Trump directed an expedited approval process, and on 8 February, the Army Corps of Engineers issued the easement that permitted Dakota Access to drill under the lake. Fearing that the presence of oil in the pipeline under Lake Oahe will cause irreparable harm to its members' religious exercise, Cheyenne River responded with a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, in which it argues that the easement's grant violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and requests that the Court enjoin the effect of the easement and thus the flow of oil, which is expected to commence in the next week or two."

This decision has come just weeks before oil is set to flow through the pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners – the company behind the pipeline project – stated in a filing that it plans to start pumping oil through a section of the line under the Missouri River by the week of 13 March.

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