Environmental advocates who’ve been working tirelessly to halt the Dakota Access pipeline have been given what some are calling a lifeline. In a ruling on Wednesday, US district judge James Boasberg said that the US Army Corps of Engineers did not perform an adequate environmental survey.
The judge cites the possible impacts of an oil spill affecting “fishing rights, hunting rights, and environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.”
The judge is calling on the army to perform a new environmental analysis in key sections of their original survey. The judge has not ruled on whether or not to halt operations in the meantime, but it is a distinct possibility.
It’s “a significant victory” according to chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe Dave Archambault II. The Standing Rock Sioux led the opposition to the pipeline for several months through the dead of winter.
“Until now, the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have been disregarded by builders of the Dakota Access pipeline and the Trump administration, prompting a well-deserved global outcry,” said Jan Hasselman, attorney for Earthjustice, calling the decision “an important turning point.”
Previously, Judge Boasberg rejected two complaints from tribes in the vicinity of the pipeline. One tribe attempted to divert the path of the pipeline because of threats to sites of cultural and historical significance.
“Now that the court has rejected these two lines of attack, Standing Rock and Cheyenne River here take their third shot, this time zeroing in DAPL’s environmental impact,” Boasberg wrote. “This volley meets with some degree of success.”
This website isn’t paid for by deceitful third party ads or paywalls. If you would like to support more stories like these, visit our store and pick up a sticker or a sweet men’s or women’s tee. They’re made in the United States and for each one sold, we plant 10 trees. Free shipping in the USA!