Judge hears arguments in another pipeline battle in North Dakota

Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota. Photo from North Dakota Tourism Department

A federal judge heard arguments on Thursday in a pipeline dispute on the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota.

Paradigm Energy Partners contends it has federal approval to build the Sacagawea Pipeline beneath Lake Sakakawea, which is located within the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Reservation. But the tribe says it has not authorized the project.

The tribe issued a cease and desist to Paradigm and the company responded by suing Chairman Mark Fox and Chief of Police Nelson Heart in federal court. A judge granted a temporary restraining order on August 23 that allows construction to continue on the reservation.

Even though the lake lies within the reservation, the company, in its complaint, says it is only performing work on "federal" land.

Three Affiliated Tribes in District Court in Bismarck today. TAT being sued by Paradigm, an owner of Sacagawea Pipeline.

Posted by Buffalo's Fire on Thursday, September 1, 2016

Judge Daniel Hovland heard nearly five hours of arguments in Bismarck, The West Fargo Pioneer reported. He has promised a ruling within the next two weeks, the Associated Press reported.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose leaders are fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline, supports the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.

"We ask that prayers be made for our fellow tribes who are experiencing the same struggles that Standing Rock is facing," a statement on Facebook read.

According to news reports, the Sacagawea Pipeline includes a $125 million oil pipeline underneath Lake Sakakawea and a $16.6 million natural gas pipeline. The oil pipeline is already finished, the AP reported. It's the gas pipeline that's now at issue.

The pipeline is a partnership among different companies -- including Greywolf Midstream, which is owned by the tribe, The Fargo Forum reported.

Read More on the Story:
Judge won't immediately stop pipeline construction (AP 9/1)
Tribal consent at heart of court arguments over N.D. pipeline (The West Fargo Pioneer 9/1)
New court battle brewing on Sacagawea pipeline (The Fargo Forum 8/27)

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