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Judge Denies Sioux Request To Stop Pipeline, But Feds Ask For Work Stoppage

Shortly after District Judge James Boasberg denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to halt construction of a portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on Friday, federal authorities stepped in and said they wanted to review the permits that were pulled for DAPL.

Until the permits can be reviewed, the Departments of Justice, Army, and the Interior have asked Energy Transfer Partners to “voluntarily pause” construction on a 40-mile stretch of pipeline.

On Wednesday, Judge Boasberg had issued a temporary injunction to stop construction that bulldozed a 150 foot wide, two mile-long path to make way for the pipeline through land that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe holds sacred. The thousands of Native Americans who have gathered at the nearby Sioux reservation and the companies building the line waited for what was thought to be a more final decision, due today.

According to Mother Jones, members from over Native American 100 tribes have been camping together near the disputed build sites, which, the Standing Rock tribe says, are sacred tribal burial grounds.

The tribe filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers in late-July accusing the government organization of violating several cultural and environmental protection laws when it granted Energy Transfer Partners and its affiliates permits to construct the pipeline.

The Corps had supported the temporary work stoppage on Wednesday in order to prevent further clashes between protestors and private security guards near construction sites.

On Wednesday, the Morton County judge issued an arrest warrant for Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein on one count of criminal mischief and another count of criminal trespassing. Stein had been photographed while spray-painting construction equipment when she joined the Native Americans in their protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline earlier this week.

The underground pipeline will transport 470,000 barrels of oil from the Bakken oil formation in North Dakota, which the U.S. Geological Survey estimates holds 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil. ETP - the largest American pipeline company by volume of goods transported.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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