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Ruling expected this week on injunction against Dakota Access

Filed Under: Environment | Law | National | Politics
More on: cheyenne river sioux, dakota access pipeline, dc, harold frazier, james boasberg, north dakota, religion, standing rock sioux
     
   

Next Friday will be remembered throughout history. This battle against #DAPL is more than a pipeline–it's about ending...

Posted by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Friday, March 3, 2017

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Facebook: Native Nations Rise

UPDATE: The judge refused to grant the preliminary injunction in a 38-page opinion issued on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

A federal judge has promised a ruling this week on an injunction that could halt the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The controversial project is all but complete except for a small portion on federally-managed land in North Dakota. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe hopes it can stop oil from flowing through the pipeline with a request for a preliminary injunction, citing threats to its religious beliefs and way of life.

“This is one battle in a long fight that involves the Great Sioux Nation and we are working together with the Great Sioux Nation to win,” Chairman Harold Frazier said of efforts to stop the pipeline, whose mere presence is considered to render the water in the treaty-protected Missouri River impure.

Judge James E. Boasberg heard arguments on the request at a hearing in Washington, D.C., on February 28. The Trump administration and Dakota Access both say the tribe waited too long to bring up a claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Boasberg has previously rejected requests to stop construction activities in North Dakota so the tribe faces an uphill battle. But even if he doesn't take action, both Cheyenne River and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are pursuing other legal avenues to stop the project.

In addition to the legal fight, Standing Rock leaders are also hoping to hoping to galvanize public support with Native Nations Rise. The event includes a symbolic camp near the Washington Monument starting on March 7 and concludes with a march to the White House on March 10.

Boasberg's decision will most likely be posted online at ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/Opinions.pl?2017, where a previous preliminary injunction ruling was posted last September. For those with access to the Electronic Case Filing system, the case number is 1:16-cv-01534 for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Sometime on Monday, Dakota Access is expected to file another status update on its work in North Dakota. The firm has said oil could be flowing anytime between this week and April 1. Boasberg has asked for 48-hours notice before crude is placed in the pipeline.

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