Environment | Law

Honor the Earth weighs next move in fight over pipeline route






A map of the Sandpiper pipeline route through treaty lands in Minnesota. Larger Image

An administrative law judge won't force the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to change the route of a pipeline that crosses treaty lands.

Honor the Earth argued that the commission failed to consult tribes before approving the $2.6 billion Sandpiper crude oil pipeline. The route passes through lands where Ojibwe tribes retain hunting, fishing and gathering rights under an 1855 treaty.

But Judge Eric Lipman said the treaty doesn't bar the pipeline. Honor the Earth is considering its next move.

“I don’t know how we can just stop and say, ‘No, never mind, it’s OK to run these pipelines through the middle of rice country,’ ” attorney Frank Bibeau told The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Honor the Earth is proposing an alternate route that won't affect rice gathering activities at Rice Lake and Sandy Lake.

Get the Story:
Judge says tribal treaties don't apply to crude oil pipelines (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 5/22)

Related Stories:
Honor the Earth challenges pipeline route through treaty lands (05/08)