Dakota Access pipeline could be moving oil soon

The protest is happening as a federal judge in Washington weighs a request made by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, calling for a halt of the last section of the Dakota Access pipeline.

USA district judge James Boasberg's decision, which comes a week after he held a hearing to consider the matter, means the pipeline could be in operation this month.

The Lake Oahe leg is the last section of the pipeline that will move oil from North Dakota to a shipping point in IL.

President Trump gave the green light to finish construction.

Native American tribes the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux had asked Judge Boasberg to direct the US Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permission for Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners to lay pipe under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

He pointed out that several other infrastructure projects already cross the lake, including a 1982 natural-gas pipeline that runs underneath, an overhead electric utility line, three vehicle bridges and a railroad bridge, and a wastewater-treatment plant that discharges into a tributary that then flows through the Standing Rock reservation into Lake Oahe.

Lisa Dillinger, a spokeswoman for the pipeline, said the company was pleased with Boasberg's decision and that it has "progressed quickly with the final piece of construction". "Today's ruling does not hurt the strength of our legal arguments challenging the illegal easement approved by the Trump administration", Mr. Archambault said in a statement. "If we're setting precedent where we're building pipelines without real restrictions, I think this is a kickoff to what's going to happen in the next few years", said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks and Opinions.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation completed its initial fix work to the Backwater Bridge last month.

Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, said: "We are calling on all our Native relatives and allies to rise with us". The last protesters burned structures as they left the camp. And he says the bigger legal battle lies ahead.

  • Zachary Reyes