Tribe files new legal challenge against North Dakota pipeline

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By Daniel Wallis

<span class="articleLocation”>Feb 9 A Native American tribe filed a last-ditch
legal challenge on Thursday to block the $3.8 billion Dakota
Access oil pipeline project after the company constructing it
won federal permission to tunnel under the Missouri River.

“This administration (of President Donald Trump) has
expressed utter and complete disregard for not only our treaty
and water rights, but the environment as a whole,” the Standing
Rock Sioux Tribe said in a statement on their website.

The tribe and environmental activists have vowed to fight
the 1,170-mile (1,885-km) Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), fearing
it will desecrate sacred sites and endanger drinking water.
Supporters say the pipeline will be a safer mode of
transportation for the oil than rail or trucks.

Legal experts have said the tribe faces long odds in
convincing any court to halt work on the pipeline, which is
being led by Energy Transfer Partners LP and could now
begin operation as soon as June.

The U.S. Army said on Wednesday it had granted the final
permit for the pipeline after an order from Trump to expedite
the project. The army owns the land through its Corps of
Engineers.

Opponents of the pipeline were running out of options, the
tribe’s chairman, David Archambault II, conceded to Reuters in a
telephone interview on Wednesday. But, he said, “That doesn’t
mean that it’s over.”

Public opposition has drawn thousands of people to the site,
including politicians and celebrities. Large
protest camps popped up nearby, leading to several violent
clashes and some 600 arrests.

The opposition sensed victory last year when the
administration of Democratic President Barack Obama delayed
completion of DAPL pending a review of tribal concerns and in
December ordered an environmental study.

But after Trump, a Republican, took office he issued an
order to expedite both DAPL and to revive another
multibillion-dollar oil artery, Keystone XL. The
Obama administration had blocked that project in 2015.



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