The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today when a federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which was illegally approved by Trump just days after his inauguration, violated the law.

The judge also ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider its environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Wednesday, opening up the possibility that the line could be shut at a later date, according to Reuters.

In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.” The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week.

“This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a recent statement. “The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline, and President Trump hastily dismissed these careful environmental considerations in favor of political and personal interests. We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately.”

The Standing Rock Sioux’s courageous fight against an oil giant and an abusive militarized police force has drawn the support of hundreds of tribes and many other from around the world. Several US cities have also showed their support by divesting their money from banks that funded the project.

The Tribe is represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, which filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for issuing a permit for the pipeline construction in violation of several environmental laws, reported Earth Justice.

“This decision marks an important turning point. Until now, the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been disregarded by the builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Trump administration—prompting a well-deserved global outcry,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman. “The federal courts have stepped in where our political systems have failed to protect the rights of Native communities.”

It is good to see a federal judge supporting the law, even though the Trump administration doesn’t care about it.

(Article By Jeremiah Jones)

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here