Judge Denies Tribe's Request to Halt Pipeline

Judge: Standing Rock Sioux didn't prove Dakota Access injunction warranted
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2016 4:23 PM CDT
Judge Denies Tribe's Request to Halt Pipeline
Tusweca Mendoza, 10, holds up a sign outside US District Court in Washington on Tuesday after members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe asked a federal judge to temporarily stop work on parts of the Dakota Access pipeline.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – A federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux's request for a temporary halt to construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline Friday, the AP reports. Judge James Boasberg says he took the tribe's request very seriously—NPR notes he acknowledged the "contentious and tragic" relationship between Native American tribes and the US government—but that it hadn't "demonstrated that an injunction is warranted here." According to CNN, Boasberg says the Standing Rock Sioux failed to prove it "will suffer any injury that would be prevented by any injunction." A lawyer representing the tribe says it plans on appealing. "My heart is hurting, but we will continue to stand," the tribe's historian tells the AP, adding that protests of the pipeline will continue.

The Standing Rock Sioux had sued the Army Corps of Engineers, alleging it violated federal laws when it approved portions of the pipeline near the tribe's reservation in North Dakota and failed to properly consult the tribe. The tribe says construction is disturbing graves and other culturally, spiritually, and historically significant sites. It also says the $3.8 billion pipeline will cross the Missouri River just upstream from the reservation, putting its drinking water in jeopardy in the case of leaks. The pipeline was originally going to cross the river closer to Bismarck, but officials worried for the safety of the state capital's drinking water, the New Yorker reports. Thousands of people, including Native Americans from multiple tribes and environmentalists, have been protesting construction of the pipeline. (Read more Dakota Access Pipeline stories.)

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