Court allows Dakota Access Pipeline to proceed

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Oct. 9 ruled (PDF) against Native American tribes, allowing construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward. The Standing Rock Sioux and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribes sought a permanent injunction to block construction of the 1,170-mile pipeline, which they say would be built on sacred burial grounds and would pose an environmental risk to the surrounding rivers. In its ruling, however, the court said the final decision will be up to the Army Corps of Engineers. The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said (PDF) the pipeline will endanger millions of lives, and that the tribe will continue to fight against it. The starement also noted that construction crews have already destroyed many historic burial sites and artifacts.

Last month a federal judge partially granted the tribes' request to suspend the construction of the North Dakota crude oil pipeline. The judge only granted a temporary restraining order pending a final ruling. Days later, federal agencies urged pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners to pause construction after the federal judge ruled in the company's favor. Late last month, a UN human rights expert also urged the US government to halt the construction of the pipeline out of respect for the rights of affected Native Americans.

From Jurist,