Tribes Want Dakota Access Pipeline Shut Down Pending More Studies

Two American Indian tribes are telling a federal court the Dakota Access pipeline, the one targeted by Oklahomans and other environmental activists last year must be shut down while the Trump administration reconsiders its environmental impact.

Attorneys for the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes filed a brief this week with the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia arguing oil cannot continue flowing in the now-completed $3.8 billion pipeline.

“Instead, the Corps must prepare a new analysis of key issues at the heart of this dispute and make a new decision based on a full and objective analysis,” said the brief.

The filing came two months after the federal court ruled an environmental assessment for the pipeline was missing some critical elements. The pipeline owner and the tribes are arguing over what should happen to the line while the Army Corps of Engineers refocuses its assessment.


“The only way to ensure the integrity of that process, and reduce the risks to the Tribes that the process is supposed to be analyzing, is by applying the default remedy of vacatur — as virtually every court to face a similar situation has done,” added the attorneys.

The pipeline is already shipping Bakken oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The Corps says it’s new review probably won’t be completed until December.