The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline hit another roadblock Wednesday when a federal judge struck down permits for the pipeline and ordered a full workup of the environmental impacts of the project.
North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had sued over the pipeline as protesters from around the country came to rally against pipeline construction that would travel across native lands and cross the Missouri River.
The U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit sided with the tribe, ordering the Army Corps of Engineers, which granted the permits for the project, to do a full environmental impact statement. In the next phase of the case, a judge will weigh whether the pipeline should be shut down while the case continues.
“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement. “It’s humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet.”
Judge James Boasberg said the environmental analysis by both the companies behind the pipeline and the Corps were severely lacking.
“In projects of this scope, it is not difficult for an opponent to find fault with many conclusions made by an operator and relied on by the agency,” he wrote in the 42-page decision. “But here, there is considerably more than a few isolated comments raising insubstantial concerns.
“The many commenters in this case pointed to serious […]