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Federal Judge Rules for Dakota Access Pipeline to Shut Down Pending Review

On July 6, 2020, The New York Times reported on the ruling of a district court that the Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down pending an environmental review and be emptied of oil by August 5, marking a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Native American and environmental groups who have fought the project for years.

On August 5, a federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed the judge’s order allowing the pipeline to flow for the time being. Jan Hasselman, the EarthJustice attorney representing Standing Rock and other tribes who have signed onto the lawsuit, said the appeals court reversal ruling was not a setback. “There is more to like than dislike in this ruling,” he said, according to a report by The Associated Press. “There will be a review and a new permit during the next administration.” Standing Rock Tribe Chairman Mike Faith said the tribe was committed to continuing its fight. “As the environmental review process gets underway in the months ahead, we look forward to showing why the Dakota Access Pipeline is too dangerous to operate.”

On August 10, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to detail options by August 31 for resolving the loss of the permit that allowed the crude oil pipeline to operate on U.S. land, according to Reuters. The Dakota Access Pipeline, which runs under the Missouri River, poses a threat to drinking water for the Tribe and millions of others who depend on the river as a source for clean water.

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