USA: Judge declines to halt construction of Dakota Access Pipeline on basis of Native American tribe's religious practices

Author: Blake Nicholson, Associated Press, Published on: 8 March 2017

"Judge won't stop construction of Dakota Access pipeline", 7 Mar 2017

A federal judge declined Tuesday to temporarily stop construction of the final section of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, clearing the way for oil to flow as soon as next week...The tribes had asked U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permission for Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners to lay pipe under Lake Oahe...The tribes argued that a pipeline under the lake violates their right to practice their religion, which relies on clean water...Boasberg...said the tribes didn't raise the religion argument in a timely fashion. He also questioned its merit.  "Although the tribe's members may feel unable to use the water from Lake Oahe in their religious ceremonies once the pipeline is operational, there is no specific ban on their religious exercise,"...Standing Rock attorney Jan Hasselman and Cheyenne River attorney Nicole Ducheneaux said they hadn't decided whether to appeal...[T]hey'll continue to argue for more environmental study...The MAIN Coalition, an industry group..., praised Boasberg's ruling...The decision "further demonstrates that both the Army Corps of Engineers and Dakota Access have fully complied with all established laws and regulations," spokesman Craig Stevens said...

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Related companies: Energy Transfer Partners