Judge declines to reverse Dakota Access Pipeline shutdown

Judge declines to reverse Dakota Access Pipeline shutdown
© Greg Nash

A federal judge on Tuesday declined to reverse his decision ordering the Dakota Access Pipeline to be shut down.

Obama appointee James Boasberg declined a request from Dakota Access LLC to immediately stay his Monday decision, but added that the court will “set a status hearing" on the matter when it receives certain documents from the company. 

Boasberg on Monday said that the pipeline had to temporarily shut down by Aug. 5 while the Army Corps of Engineers works to prepare an environmental impact statement for a rule relaxation granted to the project. 

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In a filing after the decision, Dakota Access argued that his order should be halted because “the Court’s decision requires Dakota Access to begin shutting down a major interstate pipeline.”

“As a result, Dakota Access would need to undertake a number of expensive steps before it is likely to have a ruling on the forthcoming stay motion,” the company said. 

However, tribes challenging the pipeline disagreed, saying in their own filing that the company did not do enough to show that the stay was unnecessary or try to work with the challengers to reach an agreement. 

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued over the controversial pipeline, which crosses native lands and has drawn protesters from across the country, in 2016. 

Boasberg had previously ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers had violated environmental laws when it gave Dakota Access an easement to construct a segment of the pipeline. 

In ordering the shutdown, he wrote that the “seriousness of the Corps’ deficiencies outweighs the negative effects of halting the oil flow.”