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UPDATE LINE 3: Breach worsens
bywcmcguestonNovember 1, 2021inCitizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, corporate fascism, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, Idle No More, Line 3, Line 5, Mining and Wetlands, pipelines, Rights of Nature, Treaty Rights, Uncategorized, water, Wetlands
November 1, 2021 by Ron Turney This is what the Mississippi River looked like before Enbridge came and ruined it. After Enbridge: Now we have drilling fluids rising daily ending up downriver in our wild rice beds.
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People vs Fossil Fuels brings evidence of Enbridge destruction to Washington DC
byBarbara WithonOctober 13, 2021inCitizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, corporate fascism, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, Idle No More, Line 3, Line 5, Mining and Wetlands, pipelines, Treaty Rights, water, Wetlands
October 13, 2021 Barbara With Video by Honor the Earth From October 11 through 15, 2021, thousands of people are taking action at the White House to participate in civil disobedience and demand that President Biden choose a side: People vs. Fossil Fuels. On October 12, hundreds of water protectors gathered in front of the […]
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Who Owns Enbridge and How to Divest Your Portfolio
bywcmcguestonOctober 11, 2021inCitizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, corporate fascism, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, Idle No More, Line 3, Line 5, pipelines, Rights of Nature, Standing Rock, Treaty Rights, water, Wetlands
October 11, 2021 By Star Ames Enbridge is a huge and powerful corporation which is tearing through more than 330 miles of natural habitat to install new pipelines in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Despite overwhelming opposition at public hearings, permits were issued for this mega-corporation to move forward. This pipeline system currently averages an oil spill, leak, rupture, or […]
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Resources to follow Wisconsin Line 5 regulatory process
bywcmcguestonSeptember 9, 2021inCitizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, corporate fascism, Corporate Takeover of Wisconsin, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, Idle No More, Legislation, Line 5, Mining and Wetlands, pipelines, Rights of Nature, Standing Rock, Treaty Rights, water, Wetlands
September 9, 2021 Midwest Environmental Advocates Pipeline construction can impact water resources in a number of different ways, including the filling of wetlands, altering the course of rivers, and pollution from stormwater runoff at the construction site. Midwest Environmental Advocates has partnered with Wisconsin’s Green Fire to create resources to help you understand how pipelines are regulated […]
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“Come pray like you pray;” Water protectors call for allies on the front lines
byBarbara WithonJuly 5, 2021in#Nativelivesmatter, Citizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, Idle No More, Mining and Wetlands, pipelines, Standing Rock, Treaty Rights, Video, Wetlands
July 5, 2021Barbara With and Rebecca Kemble After white supremacists drop dynamite from a bridge near the Shell City Water Protector camp, Dakota Sundancer Hoka Wicasa calls for allies to come and stand between the indigenous and the Proud Boys and to come pray for the water. Shell City Water Protector camp is located at […]
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Let’s Talk About Cages: Biden’s Big Oil Boosters
byBarbara WithonMarch 10, 2020in#Nativelivesmatter, 2020 Dem Primary, 2020 Elections, 2020 General Election, Bernie Sanders, Citizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, corporate fascism, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, pipelines, Standing Rock, The Anti-War Movement, Uncategorized
March 10, 2020 by Barbara With Sen. Joe Biden has chosen Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) as his campaign co-chair. Even though his low-lying district in Louisiana would be most immediately impacted by climate change, Richmond has a long history of being beholding to the oil and gas corporations: Richmond, a member of the moderate New […]
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Chequamegon Dems Reject Bewley’s Support of SB386; Urge Gov. Evers to Veto
byBarbara WithonNovember 11, 2019in#Nativelivesmatter, Badger Democracy, Citizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, corporate fascism, Corporate Takeover of Wisconsin, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, First Amendment, Free Speech, Legislation, pipelines, Treaty Rights
November 11, 2019 by Barbara With On November 9, 2019, the membership of the Chequamegon Democrats, which represents Ashland and Bayfield County members of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, met and after full and free discussion passed a resolution rejecting AB426/SB386, the controversial ALEC “anti-protest” bill and are calling on Governor Evers to veto the […]
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Janet Bewley betrays the water
byBarbara WithonOctober 21, 2019in2020 Elections, Badger Democracy, Citizen Media, corporate fascism, Corporate Takeover of Wisconsin, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, First Amendment, Free Speech, pipelines, Scott Walker Trainwreck, Treaty Rights, Uncategorized, Wetlands
October 21, 2019 by Barbara With The Senate hearing for SC386—the Anti-Protester bill—begins today, and one of the bills co-sponsors, Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Mason), will be listening to testimony from people from her district who will travel to the capitol to express their objections to the corporate bill. While many of the objections to the […]
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Democratic Party of Wisconsin and their deep ties to Big Oil
byBarbara WithonOctober 20, 2019in#Nativelivesmatter, 2020 Elections, Badger Democracy, Citizen Media, Constitutional Rights rollback, corporate fascism, Corporate Takeover of Wisconsin, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, First Amendment, Free Speech, Legislation, pipelines
October 20, 2019 by Barbara With Corporate Fascism: When corporations collude with politicians to write and pass laws to benefit the corporations at the expense of the people, land, water, natural resources, communities, civil and human rights, and democratic process. On Tuesday, October 22, a public hearing will be held in Madison for SB386, the Republican […]
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International Center for Not-for-Profit Law Brief: Critical Infrastructure Bills: Targeting Protesters through Extreme Penalties
byBarbara WithonOctober 18, 2019inCitizen Media, corporate fascism, Corporate Takeover of Wisconsin, Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge, Environment, First Amendment, frac sand, Free Speech, Legislation, Mining and Wetlands, pipelines, Treaty Rights, Uncategorized, Wetlands
October 17, 2019 REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE ICNL The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) works in the United States and around the world to promote a legal environment that advances the freedoms of association, expression, and assembly, thereby providing an enabling environment for civil society, civic participation, philanthropy, and civic space. They have […]
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Revealed: pipeline company paid Minnesota police for arresting and surveilling protesters
The Canadian company Enbridge has reimbursed US police $2.4m for arresting and surveilling hundreds of demonstrators who oppose construction of its Line 3 pipeline, according to documents the Guardian obtained through a public records request.
Enbridge has paid for officer training, police surveillance of demonstrators, officer wages, overtime, benefits, meals, hotels and equipment.
Enbridge is replacing the Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota to carry oil from Alberta to the tip of Lake Superior in Wisconsin. The new pipeline carries a heavy oil called bitumen, doubles the capacity of the original to 760,000 barrels a day and carves a new route through pristine wetlands. A report by the climate action group MN350 says the expanded pipeline will emit the equivalent greenhouse gases of 50 coal power plants.
The project was meant to be completed and start functioning on Friday.
Police have arrested more than 900 demonstrators opposing Line 3 and its impact on climate and Indigenous rights, according to the Pipeline Legal Action Network.
It’s common for protesters opposing pipeline construction to face private security hired by companies, as they did during demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline. But in Minnesota, a financial agreement with a foreign company has given public police forces an incentive to arrest demonstrators.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which regulates pipelines, decided rural police should not have to pay for increased strain from Line 3 protests. As a condition of granting Line 3 permits, the commission required Enbridge to set up an escrow account to reimburse police for responding to demonstrations.
Our police are beholden to a foreign companyTara Houska
Enbridge told the Guardian an independent account manager allocates the funds, and police decide when protesters are breaking the law. But records obtained by the Guardian show the company meets daily with police to discuss intelligence gathering and patrols. And when Enbridge wants protesters removed, it calls police or sends letters.
“Our police are beholden to a foreign company,” Tara Houska, founder of the Indigenous frontline group Giniw Collective, told the Guardian. “They are working hand in hand with big oil. They are actively working for a company. Their duty is owed to the state of Minnesota and to the tribal citizens of Minnesota.”
“It’s a very clear violation of the public’s trust,” she added.
Overtime pay forshooting rubber bullets and Mace
In July, Enbridge began drilling under the Red Lake River near Thief River Falls. A police report said 20 to 100 demonstrators had gathered next to the site for days. The Pennington county sheriff’s office sent a request for help and several police agencies sent officers to protect the fenced-in drill site.
Brandon Thyen, Chisago county sheriff, requested Enbridge reimbursement when his deputies were assigned “to protect the construction workers and equipment from activists and protesters”.
On 29 July, Houska said Line 3 opponents, who identify as water protectors, attempted to stop the drilling, under skies that were thick with wildfire smoke from the west. “We were met with rubber bullets and Mace by a big line of police officers from multiple counties shooting at us at point blank range,” she said.
At about 5pm a group of protesters ran from a nearby camp to the drill site, leaned ladders against the fence and began to climb over, according to a Wright county police report obtained by the Guardian. Police told them they were under arrest but they kept climbing. Then police fired at protesters with “less-lethal munitions” – weapons that are more likely to injure than kill someone. Wright county officers fired pepper spray at protesters and arrested four people.
Police shot Houska with rubber bullets that left bruises and welts on her skin, photos show. It’s not clear which police agency fired the rubber bullets – Wright county said it wasn’t them.
Enbridge reimbursed the Wright county sheriff’s office $26,886.44 for mileage, meals, wages and benefits for officers who worked at the drill site from 28 July to 1 August 2021. The Enbridge fund also reimbursed Anoka, Chisago, Marshall and Clay counties for sending officers to the drill site.
Houska said she overheard officers saying they would get overtime pay for responding on 29 June. “They’re excited about the piggy bank Enbridge has created for them,” she said.
Enbridge picked up tab for surveillance and cheeseburgers
On 12 March 2021, Grand Rapids police followed several vehicles in Aitkin county that they suspected contained Line 3 protesters. Investigator Brian Mattson followed a Jeep into a mall parking lot. The occupants, a “white female and Hispanic or native american male”, recorded him and questioned why he was following them. Sergeant Andrew Morgan wrote in his report that he “maintained surveillance on multiple believed rally participants”, including monitoring a vehicle that contained a “sleeping dragon” device that protesters use to lock themselves to equipment.
Enbridge reimbursed Grand Rapids $4,048.43 for the wages of nine officers who were patrolling Aitkin county that day.
From 4 to 9 June, in response to a mutual aid request, the McLeod county sheriff’s office sent police to Wadena and Aitkin counties for what they called “operation safety net”. They billed their mileage, wages and meals to the Enbridge account, a total of $15,787.57.
The evening of 8 June, the McLeod county officers dined together at the Fireside Inn in Aitkin county. Detective Andrew DeMeyer had buffalo chips and a fiesta salad for $19.15, Deputy Jonathan Robbin had a chicken strip basket, fries and mozzarella sticks for $21.35, Deputy Joshua Fahey had a half chicken with fries for $14.95, and Sgt Billy Kroll enjoyed a bacon cheeseburger, onion rings and two non-alcoholic beers for $22.45. They billed their meals to the Enbridge account.
On 7 June hundreds of protesters occupied an Enbridge pump station in Hubbard county, north of Park Rapids, blockading the site and locking themselves to equipment. The Hubbard county sheriff’s office sent a “code red” to the Beltrami county field force extrication team, which had received training from 2016 to 2020 to remove protesters who used sleeping dragons.
Enbridge reimbursed the Beltrami county sheriff’s office more than $180,000 for the training and equipment its officers would use that day. This included $17,510.99 for equipment, including ballistic helmets, and another $4,095 for shields.
Beltrami officers put on their riot helmets, grabbed their shields and boarded a school bus, according to police reports. At the site, they arrested protesters, including elderly people, and people who locked themselves to bulldozers and excavators.
Enbridge reimbursed Beltrami county sheriff’s office $17,572.22 for police wages and overtime pay for their work that day.
Beltrami also requested reimbursement for pepper spray and batons, but the manager of the escrow account wrote in an email that these were not personal protective equipment and could not be reimbursed.
You wish they were actually there to protect and serve us, and not to protect and serve a pipeline and a companySimone Senogles
Simone Senogles, member of the Red Lake Nation and leadership team member for the Indigenous Environmental Network, participated in actions on 7 June to protect the Mississippi River and drinking water.
“You wish they were actually there to protect and serve us, and not to protect and serve a pipeline and a company,” she said of police. “It’s the antithesis of democracy in my mind.”
Oil company ‘calling the shots in Minnesota’
Records obtained by the Guardian show a close working relationship between Enbridge and police.
In December 2020, Cass county’s sheriff’s office began “proactive safety patrols” of communities along the pipeline route. Up to 6 August the Enbridge account reimbursed the sheriff $849,163.40 for these patrols.
Tom Burch, Cass county sheriff, wrote in his request for reimbursement that a Cass county supervisor was assigned to the project and met several times daily with Enbridge public safety liaison staff to discuss safety concerns, intelligence gathering and public safety initiatives for the day.
Burch told the Guardian he would have initiated these patrols even if they couldn’t be reimbursed from Enbridge. “Cass County Sheriff’s Office does not work for Enbridge,” he wrote in an email. “Cass County Sheriff’s Office responds appropriately to the public safety needs for the citizens of Cass County and our communities.”
On 9 January 2021, Kevin Ott, a Grand Rapids police department officer, wrote in a report: “I was contacted by employees of Enbridge who advised me that there were multiple protesters that had occupied their job site to the east of US Hwy #169,” in Aitkin county. He arrested one man who refused to leave the site. Enbridge later reimbursed the Grand Rapids police epartment $1,306.35.
Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, an Indigenous environmental group, told the Guardian she was at the 9 January protest and witnessed an Enbridge employee directing police. “Enbridge has been calling the police shots in northern Minnesota,” she said.
Asked if the company is directing police, an Enbridge spokesperson, Michael Barnes, wrote in an email: “Officers decide when protesters are breaking the law – or putting themselves and others in danger.”
The Guardian requested comment from Beltrami county sheriff’s office, Grand Rapids police department and McLeod county sheriff’s office, but did not receive responses by deadline.
Citing concerns that similar funding models could be replicated in other states, lawyers are close to filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the escrow fund. “It presents a dystopian future, that’s why we’re challenging it,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a lawyer with the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.
In August, Houska and other water protectors met with the UN special rapporteur on human rights to share their concerns about police and the escrow fund. Houska said the financial relationship had resulted in the criminalization of protest and was setting a precedent that “should scare anyone”.
“As we see the climate crisis raging all around us, and the world is on fire, and the water protectors are in jail, at what point do we step in to prevent a precedent like this being the norm?” Houska asked.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Litigation on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Nov. 1, 2018
Tribe Renews Legal Challenge to DAPL Permits
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a supplemental complaint against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in its ongoing lawsuit challenging federal permits for the Dakota Access pipeline.
The new stage in the lawsuit comes after the Army Corps released a report — following over a year of study — that continued to dismiss the Tribe’s concerns about the risks of an oil spill on the Missouri River, where the pipeline crosses just half a mile upstream of the Tribe’s reservation. (Read an explainer of this latest legal development.)
Mike Faith, Jr., Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, issued this statement: “The Corps has conducted a sham process to arrive at a sham conclusion, for the second time. The Dakota Access Pipeline represents a clear and present danger to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its people, and we will continue to fight until the Corps complies with the law.”
Aug. 31, 2018
DAPL Remand Decision Issued
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a decision affirming its original decision to issue a construction permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read document.
Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, who represents the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their lawsuit against the Army Corps, explains what the decision means. Read analysis.
Mike Faith, Jr., Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, issued this statement: “The Army Corps’ decision to rubberstamp its illegal and flawed permit for DAPL will not stand. A federal judge declared the DAPL permits to be illegal, and ordered the Corps to take a fresh look at the risks of an oil spill and the impacts to the Tribe and its Treaty rights. That is not what the Army Corps did. Instead, we got a cynical and one-sided document designed to paper over mistakes, not address the Tribe’s legitimate concerns. The Tribe has worked in good faith every step of the way to develop technical and cultural information to help the Corps fully understand the consequences of permitting this pipeline. They took our hard work and threw it in the trash. The Tribe will be reviewing this decision closely, and determine how best to proceed in close consultation with our membership, staff, and advisors. In the meantime, we will continue to extend an open hand to the Army Corps to continue an honest dialogue about the impacts of this pipeline to the Standing Rock.”
Dec. 4, 2017
Court Opinion on Conditions
Today, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, citing the recent Keystone oil spill in South Dakota, imposed several interim measures over the ongoing operation of the Dakota Access pipeline.
The Court ordered three different measures, all of which were requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. First, the Court ordered the Corps and DAPL to work with the Tribes to complete oil spill response plans at Lake Oahe. Up to now, the Tribe has been kept in the dark about spill response planning and was not involved in the process of developing plans to address spills at Lake Oahe. Second, the Court ordered an independent audit of DAPL’s compliance with the permit conditions and standards. The Tribe has to be involved in the selection of an auditor. Finally, DAPL must file regular reports on any incidents or repairs on the pipeline. Such reporting is not currently required by law, which means the public does not learn about the nearly constant spills and leaks of oil that occur on major pipelines.
All three conditions were opposed by the Corps and by DAPL.
Read the court document.
Read the press release.
Court Rules Dakota Access Pipeline to Remain Operational, For Now; The Fight Continues
On Oct. 11, 2017, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access pipeline can continue operating pending an environmental review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the Corps in July 2016, arguing that the pipeline destroyed sacred sites and threatens the water quality of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that sits downstream of the site where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River in North Dakota.
In the ruling, the Court found that shutting down the pipeline would not cause major economic disruption, as DAPL claimed. However, the Court found a possibility that the Army Corps would be able to justify its decision not to do a full environmental review, and hence refused to shut down the pipeline while that process was underway. The Corps estimates that the new environmental review will be completed by April 2018.
“This pipeline represents a threat to the livelihoods and health of our Nation every day it is operational,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Mike Faith. “It only makes sense to shut down the pipeline while the Army Corps addresses the risks that this court found it did not adequately study. From the very beginning of our lawsuit, what we have wanted is for the threat this pipeline poses to the people of Standing Rock Indian reservation to be acknowledged. Today, our concerns have not been heard and the threat persists.”
“Today’s decision is a disappointing continuation of a historic pattern: other people get all the profits, and the Tribes get all the risk and harm,” said Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice Attorney representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “The court already found that the Corps violated the law when it issued the permits without thoroughly considering the impact on the people of Standing Rock. The company should not be allowed to continue operating while the Corps studies that threat.”
Read full press release.
What did the court decide on Oct. 11, 2017?
In a 28-page opinion, the court weighed two factors to determine whether or not the pipeline should be shut down.
First, it asked whether it was “possible” that the Corps would be able to justify its previous decision not to conduct a full environmental review once the remand is complete. The court answered that question in the affirmative.
Second, it assessed the disruptive consequences if the pipeline were shut down. On this issue, the court largely rejected Energy Transfer Partners’ claims that a shutdown would cause substantial economic harm, finding that the company bore some responsibility for its situation by starting operations while the case was being litigated. However, the court found that the first factor was sufficient to rule against shutting down the pipeline.
What about other protective measures?
In its legal briefs, the Tribe had asked that if the pipeline were not shut down, then the court should impose additional measures to reduce the risk of oil spills to protect the Tribe. Specifically, the Tribe called for better oil spill response planning, a third-party audit of DAPL’s compliance, and better public reporting.
The court rejected the Corps’ and DAPL’s argument that the court didn’t have authority to impose such measures, but offered an opportunity for them to respond on the substance of the Tribe’s proposal. The details and timing of this process will be worked out at a status conference the week of October 16.
Can the Oct. 11, 2017, decision be appealed?
Because the district court case remains live, and the remand process is underway, this is not an appealable decision at this time.
What’s next for this case?
The Tribe intends to focus on the remand process and has a technical team of experts assisting it in providing input. The Corps has invited the Tribe to provide input into the remand, and that process is currently underway.
The goal—as it has been from the beginning—is to demonstrate that the risks of an oil spill, and the impacts on the Tribe, are sufficient to require a full environmental impact statement to be prepared, which would reopen the discussion around an appropriate location for crossing the Missouri River. The Corps has stated that process should be complete by April of next year. The court admonished the Corps not to treat this process as a “bureaucratic formality” but to give “serious consideration” to the errors identified by the court.
What’s the background of this case up to Oct. 11, 2017?
When Energy Transfer Partners proposed a new 1,200-mile oil pipeline from the Bakken oil fields to the Midwest, it chose a route crossing the Missouri River just yards upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The Tribe’s principled resistance to the project captured the attention of the entire world, leading to historic protests at the remote site in North Dakota. The Obama administration vindicated the Tribe’s concerns when it blocked the final permits to cross the Missouri River and promised a full environmental review that looked at the Tribe’s treaty rights as well as alternative routes.
Within days of his inauguration, however, Donald Trump ordered the permits granted. The Tribe filed a lawsuit to challenge this decision, but construction was completed while the case was proceeding.
In June, just weeks after pipeline operations had begun, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled for the Tribe that the Army Corps had not complied with environmental review laws before issuing permits for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River.
The Army Corp’s lack of compliance lay at the heart of the Tribe’s concerns about the project—the failure to address robust expert critiques of oil spill risk, the failure to address the impacts of an oil spill on the Tribe’s treaty rights and the failure to adequately consider the environmental justice implications of siting the pipeline just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation.
In its June decision, the court ordered the Army Corps to do a new analysis of these critical issues, in what is called a “remand” process. The court ordered separate briefing to assess whether the pipeline should be shut down while the remand process is going on. The decision on Oct. 11 addresses that question.
Even Earlier Updates:
July 17, 2017: Briefs filed
Following the Court’s order, on July 17, DAPL and the Army Corps filed briefs explaining why the pipeline should not be shut down pending the new environmental analysis is undertaken. Proposed amicus briefs were also filed by the North Dakota Petroleum Council and a coalition of industry groups.
The Corps’ brief also provides for the first time some additional details about the process to review the flaws in its previous environmental assessment, anticipating a process that would be completed by December of 2017. The Corps does not commit either to performing an EIS or even providing opportunities for public comment.
June 21, 2017: Briefing schedule set
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held a hearing on June 21 to set a briefing schedule for the continuation of the lawsuit, including a timeline for arguing whether the pipeline must be shut down while the Corps attempts to comply with the Judge’s orders. "While our legal battle is not over, we have made progress and now must focus on convincing the court to stop the flow of oil while this administration moves forward in unveiling its plan for complying with the law," said Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in advance of the hearing.
Attorney Jan Hasselman gave an update on Facebook Live following the hearing.
Additional resources:What the June 14 court ruling means and in-depth background on this litigation.
In a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, on June 14, 2017, the Court found that approval of Dakota Access Pipeline violated the law.
In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects. (Read full news release.)
“We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, “and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately.”
What does the June 14, 2017, Court decision mean?
The Court found that the Army Corps’ permits were illegal in some respects and legal in others. It also found that the Trump administration decision fell short in three important respects, all of them fundamental to the Tribe’s concerns. The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and requested additional briefing on the subject.
Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, lead counsel to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, breaks down the details of the June 14 court ruling, and explains what happens next, in DAPL Ruling: What Was Decided, What’s Next?.
What will happen with the pipeline in the interim of the new environmental review?
Normally, when a federal agency violates the law by not looking at environmental risks well enough, the appropriate remedy is to invalidate the underlying permit. Without a permit, the pipeline cannot operate. The Judge has asked the parties to submit legal briefs on that question.
Over the course of the summer, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will be making our best arguments to the Court that the Judge should shut down the pipeline pending the completion of a lawful environmental review. We expect a decision around September.
About The Litigation:
Why did the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe bring a lawsuit?
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is deeply concerned about the construction of the major crude-oil pipeline that passes through its ancestral lands.
What are the key legal issues in this case?
The motion for summary judgment, filed on Feb. 14, asked the Judge to rule on major legal questions that have not yet been resolved during this case, including whether National Environmental Policy Act requirements have been met and whether the Corps’ actions violate the Tribe’s Treaty rights.
Our lawsuit raises three critical claims, and asks the court to throw out the federal approvals.
First, the law requires a full, transparent and public environmental review for any federal action that has “significant” environmental effects. These environmental reviews have been prepared for decisions as mundane as off-leash dog areas and allowing jet skis in parks. The idea that a 30-inch crude-oil pipeline under one of the most economically and culturally important waterways in the nation isn’t significant enough to warrant an environmental review is absurd.
Second, the history of the U.S. government’s broken promises to the Sioux people is long and tragic. No one disputes that the Tribe has important Treaty rights that guarantee the integrity of its reservation. This means that the federal government and its agencies cannot take any federal action that harms the Standing Rock reservation or the water in the Missouri River on which the people of Standing Rock depend.
The Obama administration made a carefully considered decision that these Treaty rights needed to be respected in connection with an oil pipeline immediately upstream of the reservation. The Trump administration ignored that advice, and acted as if the Tribe does not exist.
And finally, there are limits on the extent to which one administration can reverse the decisions of its predecessor. While federal agencies can change their minds about matters of policy, the courts will set aside reversals that are not fully justified and explained.
Additional details on the key merits of this case.
Where can I find a recap of the dramatic events of the summer, fall, and winter of 2016?
"Things moved very fast." Read an account from Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman on seeking the preliminary injunction, the Court's ruling on the request, and the remarkable announcement issued by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Justice and Interior.
Where can I find an explanation and summary of the Tribe’s legal fight?
See: Standing With Standing Rock.
In the spring of 2017, Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, lead counsel to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, provides an overview of the origins of this historic legal case and an explanation of the case up until that point.
Additionally, the timeline section of this FAQ gives a summary of key events.
From The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Setting The Record Straight.
On Feb. 23, the Tribe issued a report on engagement on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Selected excerpts from Setting The Record Straight:
The Tribe was fully engaged from the beginning. The Tribe contacted the Army Corps, even before DAPL applied for permits, to express its deep concerns about the pipeline in this location and its effect on the Tribe’s treaty rights and cultural sites. (The full story.) In September 2014, the Tribe made its overwhelming objection to the proposal clear to DAPL representatives, and promised to fight them if they proceeded in the proposed location. A recording of what was said:
The Corps did not hold 389 meetings with Tribes. A significant portion of that '389' number were requests from Tribes to the Corps seeking information about the proposed pipeline and the Corps’ process for reviewing it, raising concerns and objections, and requesting meetings to discuss those concerns—many of which were ignored by the Corps.
The Tribe participated fully in the NEPA process. The Tribe submitted three lengthy sets of technical and legal comments on the December 2015 draft EA, comprising hundreds of pages, raising objections and seeking better analysis of spill risks and the Tribe’s treaty rights.
The Tribe sought to protect its rights when no one else would. The Tribe refused to get out of DAPL’s way and allow them to do something the Tribe thought was illegal and immoral. Neither the Corps nor DAPL ever explained why, if the pipeline was so safe, they didn’t select the alternative route and cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck where the river is narrower.
The Corps relied on flawed, one-sided analysis prepared by DAPL—and never subjected to any independent review—minimizing the risks of oil spill, and ignored the Tribe’s treaty rights to water, fishing, and hunting. In December 2016, the Corps correctly found that those issues needed further consideration through an EIS process. On his second full day in office, the Trump administration overruled the Corps and ordered the permits to be granted. Standing Rock Chairman Archambault was on his way to meet with the White House when the easement was issued—no one from the Trump administration ever talked to a representative of the Tribe before ordering the project to go forward.
The new administration failed to engage in good faith in the process.
See full document.
Updated: May 10, 2017
Dakota Access Pipeline: Oil Spill on April 6
“The Dakota Access pipeline has not yet started shipping the proposed half million barrels of oil per day, and we are already seeing confirmed reports of oil spills from the pipeline. This is what we have said all along: oil pipelines leak and spill,” said Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “Our lawsuit challenging this dangerous project is ongoing, and it’s more important than ever for the court to step in and halt additional accidents before they happen—not just for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and our resources, but for the 17 million people whose drinking water is at risk.”
In an interview with The Guardian on the spill, Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, lead counsel to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, questioned, “What kind of oversight and accountability is there, if no one even finds out about these things until weeks later?”
Timeline of Events:
July 27, 2016
The Tribe files a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, D.C., where it was assigned to U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg.
August 4, 2016
The Tribe asks the Court for a preliminary injunction since the pipeline is already under construction and would be finished before the case could be formally decided.
August 24, 2016
Judge Boasberg holds a hearing on the motion in Washington, D.C. Over 500 people participated in an action outside the federal courthouse in support of the Tribe. The Judge indicated that he would rule in roughly two weeks.
Sept. 3, 2016
While the parties are awaiting the Court’s decision, Dakota Access bulldozed an area of the pipeline corridor filled with Tribal sacred sites and burials that had been identified to the Court just the previous day. Demonstrators trying to prevent the destruction of the sacred site were pepper sprayed and attacked by guard dogs (as documented by Amy Goodman and her Democracy Now camera crew.) On Sept. 4, the Tribe files an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order to block the construction until a decision is reached on the injunction motion.
Sept. 6, 2016
Judge Boasberg holds a hearing on the emergency motion for a temporary restraining order. The Judge issues a temporary restraining order for the pipeline corridor nearest the Missouri River but declines to halt construction on the portion of the pipeline route that had recently been identified as sacred tribal burial ground.
Sept. 9, 2016
The Court denies the Tribe’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Minutes later, three federal agencies—The Department of Justice, Department of the Army and Department of the Interior—issue a joint statement announcing that the federal agencies will halt any additional permitting and reconsider its past permits of the project. The statement states that while it appreciates the Court’s review, the government believes that the Tribe has raised some important issues worthy of additional consideration. It also called for a national review of the government’s approach to Tribal consultation for major fossil fuel projects.
Sept. 12, 2016
After filing an appeal of the District Court’s decision with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tribe files a request for an injunction pending appeal. The motion asks the Court to make the Government’s request for a voluntary pause on construction within 20 miles of Lake Oahe an enforceable requirement while the appeal process goes forward.
Sept. 16, 2016
The Court issues an order issuing an “administrative injunction … to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for injunction pending appeal.” The court directed “that Dakota Access LLC be enjoined pending further order of the court from construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline for 20 miles on both sides of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe.”
Oct. 5, 2016
Oral arguments on the emergency motion for injunction are held at the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. A ruling was not issued, keeping the temporary halt to construction in place until the Court issues a decision.
Oct. 9, 2016
The D.C. Circuit issues a ruling denying the tribe’s request for an injunction pending appeal but emphasizes that it hoped that the “spirit of Section 106 [of the National Historic Preservation Act] may yet prevail” as the Court did not have the last word, and decisions still need to be made at the permit crossing at Lake Oahe. Both the appeal and the district court litigation will proceed, but the injunction covering work in the pipeline corridor has ceased.
Oct. 10, 2016
The Department of Justice, Department of the Army and Department of the Interior issue a joint statement following the court order which says in part: “The Army continues to review issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Tribal nations and their members and hopes to conclude its ongoing review soon. In the interim, the Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe. We repeat our request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.”
Dakota Access has forcefully rejected the Government’s request for a voluntary pause, and continues to pursue construction ever closer to the Missouri River and the camps of protesters.
Oct. 20, 2016
The Army Corps conducts a site visit to the area bulldozed over Labor Day to determine whether Dakota Access violated federal law by knowingly damaging a tribal sacred site. Under federal law, if Dakota Access is found to have knowingly damaged a historic or cultural resource with the intent of sidestepping the National Historic Preservation Act, the Corps cannot issue the easement. No determination has been finalized.
Nov. 2, 2016
Following comments from President Obama in an interview on Nov. 1, Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II issues a statement, saying in part, “While the Army Corps of Engineers is examining this issue we call on the Administration and the Corps to issue an immediate ‘stop work order’ on the Dakota Access Pipeline.” Read the Tribe's full statement.
The statement below from the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, can be quoted in full or in part:
“We applaud President Obama’s commitment to protect our sacred lands, our water, and the water of 17 million others. While the Army Corps of Engineers is examining this issue we call on the Administration and the Corps to issue an immediate ‘stop work order’ on the Dakota Access Pipeline. And given the flawed process that has put our drinking water in jeopardy, we also urge the Administration to call for a full environmental impact study.
“The nation and the world are watching. The injustices done to Native people in North Dakota and throughout the country must be addressed. We believe President Obama and his Administration will do the right thing.”
“Earthjustice is honored to represent the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in court as it seeks to protect its people’s sacred lands and water from the Dakota Access pipeline,” said Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice, also in response to President Obama's Nov. 1 remarks. “We also want to reiterate the Chairman’s call for a full environmental impact statement. No such careful review has occurred to date. Considering all that’s at stake, that’s simply unacceptable.” Read Earthjustice's full statement.
Nov. 3, 2016
An independent expert hired by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Richard Kuprewicz of Accufacts, Inc., a consulting firm that advises government agencies and industry about pipelines) finds that the government’s environmental assessment of the Dakota Access pipeline’s environmental impact was inadequate. In light of Kuprewicz’s report and the deficiencies contained in the environmental assessment, Tribe Chairman Archambault II asked for the government to reconsider its early decisions and disallow the easement for the pipeline crossing. Read the letter to Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy.Read the Accufacts report.Read the news release.
Nov. 10, 2016
The Department of Justice announces in federal court that it will be announcing the next steps on a 'path forward' for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe. Read the Tribe's statement.
Nov. 14, 2016
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers announces they are delaying an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline project until it conducts further environmental review with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country,” says Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair David Archambault II.
Nov. 15, 2016
Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline files a lawsuit charging the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has no right to delay easement to pipeline construction.
Nov. 21, 2016
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issues a statement calling on President Obama to deny easement, investigate pipeline safety and protect tribal sovereignty. Read the Tribe's statement.
Nov. 25, 2016
Federal officials announce that a decision had been made to close access to the entire area north of the Cannonball River including the Standing Rock protest campsite at Oceti Sakowin. They said the decision was made because of public safety concerns and that a 'free speech zone' to the south of Cannonball River would be created. Anyone on the closed land after Dec. 5 could be charged with trespassing. Read the Tribe's statement.
Nov. 28, 2016
The Water Protector Legal Collective, an initiative of the National Lawyers Guild, files a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Morton County, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirschmeier, and other law enforcement agencies for using excessive force against peaceful protesters near the Standing Rock protest camp on the night of November 20. More details.(Earthjustice, representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in litigation against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is not involved in this class action lawsuit.)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II responds to Gov. Dalrymple's Nov. 28 executive order calling for mandatory evacuation of all campers located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands (also known as the Oceti Sakowin camp), saying, in part, "If the true concern is for public safety than the Governor should clear the blockade and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings." Read the Tribe's full statement.
Dec. 4, 2016
The Dakota Access Corporation is not granted the easement needed for construction under Lake Oahe. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moves to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for alternative routes. Read more.
Dec. 9, 2016
Jan. 6, 2017
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe files a motion with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., asking District Judge James Boasberg to throw out Dakota Access’s lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers. The Department of Justice, which represents the Corps, files a similar motion.
Jan. 18, 2017
The scoping notice soliciting public comment on the Environmental Impact Statement process for the Dakota Access Pipeline is published in the Federal Register. The notice opens the public scoping phase and invites interested parties to identify potential issues, concerns, and reasonable alternatives that should be considered in an EIS. Comments from the public are being requested through Feb. 20.
Feb. 1, 2017
Senators Cantwell, Tester and Udall send a letter to the White House expressing their concern about the Presidential Memorandum issued January 24 and reports that the Army Corps of Engineers intends to grant a final easement allowing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline without appropriate consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and due process. Read the letter.
Feb. 7, 2017
The Army Corps of Engineers notifies Congress that—within the next 24 hours—it will issue an easement to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. Read the EIS termination.Read the Army memorandum.
Feb. 14, 2017
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe files a motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to overturn recent Army Corps of Engineers permits of the pipeline issued without environmental review or consideration of treaty rights. The lawsuit challenges the Corps’ hasty and unexplained departure from its previous decision, and explains how the Corps ignored the Tribe’s treaty rights and seeks to destroy culturally significant and sacred sites. It also explains how the Corps violated federal statutes requiring close environmental analysis of significant and controversial agency actions. Read the legal document.
Feb. 15, 2017
North Dakota Gov. Burgum issues an emergency evacuation order of the Oceti Sakowin camp, ordering that the site be vacated by 2:00pm local time on Feb. 22. In a statement on Feb. 7, Standing Rock Chairman Archambault II had asked supporters to “please respect our people and do not come to Standing Rock and instead exercise your First Amendment rights and take this fight to your respective state capitols, to your members of Congress, and to Washington, D.C.”
Feb. 24, 2017
A buried memo from Interior Department's top lawyer surfaces in legal filings. The 35-page formal legal opinion, dated Dec. 4, found that the existing environmental assessment for the Dakota Access pipeline suffered from fatal flaws. The Trump administration quietly suspended the opinion as it prepared to approve the pipeline. Of the Trump administration's attempts to bury the memo, Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman said, "The Standing Rock Sioux deserve better. That's why we have courts." Read details.
Apr. 5, 2017
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe applauds BNP Paribas’ decision to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline. “As corporate greed continues to fuel dirty energy projects on our land, it is heartening to see that some banks recognize the imminent harm to our people posed by DAPL, and are taking actions accordingly,” said Dave Archambault, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We appreciate BNP Paribas, ING and DNB leadership and their advanced understanding and respect of tribal sovereignty and Indigenous Peoples’ rights.”
May 10, 2017
The local South Dakota outlet Aberdeen News reports that a leak occurred in the not-yet completed Dakota Access pipeline on April 6. “Our lawsuit challenging this dangerous project is ongoing, and it’s more important than ever for the court to step in and halt additional accidents before they happen—not just for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and our resources, but for the 17 million people whose drinking water is at risk,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II.
June 14, 2017
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe wins a significant victory, when Judge James Boasberg rules that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects. The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off, requesting additional briefing on the subject and a status conference for the following week. Read the court opinion.
October 11, 2017
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issues an opinion on the pipeline operations during the new environmental review process. Read the legal document.
August 31, 2018
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues a brief decision, affirming its original decision to issue a construction permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read the legal analysis.
November 1, 2018
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe renews their lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, challenging its recently completed review of the pipeline’s impacts and filing a supplemental complaint in its existing case. Read the legal analysis.
August 16, 2019
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s continuing legal battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline advanced with a motion for summary judgment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
March 25, 2020
D.C. District Court granted a request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to strike down federal permits for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The Court found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it affirmed federal permits for the pipeline originally issued in 2016. Specifically, the Court found significant unresolved concerns about the potential impacts of oil spills and the likelihood that one could take place.
Apr. 29, 2020
The Corps and Dakota Access filed briefs with the Court asking it to allow the pipeline to continue to operate while a full EIS is prepared, as required by the Court’s recent decision. The Corps claims to be able to finish an EIS by mid-2021, already signaling that it will not take the process seriously. DAPL breathtakingly calls DAPL the safest pipeline in the world, relying on secretive information that it has shielded from any public scrutiny. These briefs were supported by no less than six “amicus” (friend of the court) briefs representing oil companies, industry groups, and the state of North Dakota.
May 20, 2020
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe files its legal brief asking the Court to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline while an Environmental Impact Statement is performed. The brief explained how shutting down the pipeline would have limited impacts in light of the collapse in North Dakota oil production, and that leaving it in place continues a pattern of government-sponsored trauma dating back two centuries.
July 6, 2020
The D.C. District Court orders the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline to halt operations while the government conducts a full-fledged analysis examining the risk DAPL poses to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The shutdown will remain in place pending completion of a full environmental review, which normally takes several years, and the issuance of new permits. It may be up to a new administration to make final permitting decisions.
April 9, 2021
Representatives from the Biden administration’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicated that the agency will not shutter the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite the ongoing threats it poses to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the fact that it is operating without a federal permit.
Key Legal Documents:
Complaint (filed July 27)Download
Motion for Preliminary Injunction (filed August 4)Download
Declaration of Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (filed August 4)Download
Declaration of Jon Eagle, Sr., Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (filed August 4)Download
Declaration of Tim Mentz, Sr. (filed August 11)Download
Emergency Motion For A Temporary Restraining Order (filed September 4)Download
Declaration of Tim Mentz, Sr. (filed September 4)Download
Suppl. Declaration of Tim Mentz, Sr. (filed September 4)Download
Decision on Request for Preliminary Injunction (issued September 9)Download
Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal (filed September 12)Download
Decision on Motion for Injunction Pending Appeal (issued October 9)Download
Energy Transfer Partners lawsuit charging Army Corp has no right to delay easement to pipeline construction (filed November 11)Download
DAPL Motion for Summary Judgment (filed December 5)Download
DAPL Memo In Support of Motion For Summary Judgment (filed December 5)Download
DAPL Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (filed December 5)Download
DAPL Declaration Of William S. Scherman In Support Of Motion For Summary Judgment (filed December 5)Download
Memo in Support Of The Motion To Dismiss: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (filed January 6)Download
Memo in Support Of The Motion To Dismiss: Army Corps of Engineers (filed January 6)Download
DAPL Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (filed January 16)Download
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Opposition to DAPL Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (filed January 17)Download
Court Order Dismissing Appeal of Sept. 9 Preliminary Injunction Request Denial (issued January 18)Download
DAPL Opposition to Motions to Dismiss and Reply in Support of MSJ (filed January 20)Download
Second Declaration of Dave Archambault, II (filed February 10)Download
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Joinder in Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's Motion for TRO (filed February 10)Download
Memorandum in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (filed February 14)Download
Response Of Dakota Access, LLC In Opposition To Plaintiff Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Motion For Summary Judgment (filed March 7)Download
Army Corps Of Engineers’ Opposition To Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Motion For Partial Summary Judgment And Cross Motion For Partial Summary Judgment (filed March 14)Download
Reply Brief In Support Of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Summary Judgment Motion and Opposition To Corps' Summary Judgment Motion (filed March 28)Download
Reply Of Dakota Access, LLC In Support Of U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers’ Cross-Motion For Partial Summary Judgment (filed April 4)Download
Army Corps Of Engineers’ Reply In Support Of Its Cross Motion For Partial Summary Judgment (filed April 4)Download
U.S. District Court Memorandum Opinion (issued June 14)Download
Brief Of Dakota Access, LLC Regarding Remedy (filed July 17)Download
U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers’ Brief Regarding Remedy (filed July 17)Download
Exhibit A: Proposed Amicus Brief (257) (North Dakota Petroleum Council) (filed July 17)Download
Exhibit A: Proposed Amicus Brief (259) (The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, The American Petroleum Institute,The Association Of Oil Pipe Lines, The Chamber Of Commerce Of The United States Of America, And The National Association Of Manufacturers) (filed July 17)Download
Brief of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Regarding Remedy (filed August 7)Download
Brief of Amici Curiae Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association, National Congress of American Indians, and 18 Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations (filed August 7)Download
Amici Curiae Brief of Law Professors and Practitioners in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Vacatur (filed August 7)Download
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Reply Brief Regarding Remedy (filed August 17)Download
Dakota Access, LLC, Reply Brief Regarding Remedy (filed August 17)Download
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe & Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's Reply Brief Regarding Remedy (filed August 28)Download
U.S. District Court Memorandum Opinion re Conditions (issued December 4)Download
U.S. District Court Memorandum Opinion re Vacatur (issued October 11)Download
DAPL Remand Decision (issued August 31, 2018)Download
U.S. Army Corps Remand Analysis (redacted version released to the public October 24, 2018)Download
Supplemental Complaint (filed November 1, 2018)Download
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (filed August 16, 2019)Download
Army Corps Brief on Remand Summary Judgment (filed Oct. 10, 2019)Download
Testimony of Jon Eagle to the North Dakota Public Service Commission (submitted Nov. 1, 2019)Download
Testimony of Donald Holmstrom to the North Dakota Public Service Commission (submitted Nov. 1, 2019)Download
Testimony of Richard Kuprewicz to the North Dakota Public Service Commission (submitted Nov. 1, 2019)Download
Pre-Hearing Brief by Intervenor Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, submitted to North Dakota Public Service Commission (filed Nov. 8, 2019)Download
D.C. District Court Decision on Motion for Summary Judgment (issued Mar. 25, 2020)Download
Army Corps: Remedy Brief (filed Apr. 29, 2020)Download
Dakota Access, LLC: Remedy Brief (filed Apr. 29, 2020)Download
Six amicus briefs supporting Corps and DAPL (filed Apr. 29, 2020)Download
Remedy Brief of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (filed May 20, 2020)Download
Declarations in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (filed May 20, 2020)Download
Amicus Brief of Members of Congress in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (filed May 20, 2020)Download
Amicus Brief of National Congress of American Indians, Tribes, and Tribal Organizations in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (filed May 20, 2020)Download
Amicus Brief of National and Regional Conservation Groups in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (filed May 20, 2020)Download
DAPL: Final Reply Brief Regarding Remedy (filed June 8, 2020)Download
Army Corps of Engineers: Final Reply Brief Regarding Remedy (filed June 8, 2020)Download
D.C. District Court Ruling to Shut Down DAPL (issued July 6, 2020)Download
Dakota Access, LLC's Motion for Stay Pending Appeal (filed July 10, 2020)Download
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision (issued Aug. 5, 2020)Download
DAPL Appeals Brief, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (filed Aug. 26, 2020)Download
Army Corps Appeals Brief, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (filed Aug. 26, 2020)Download
Army Corps Status Report (filed Aug. 31, 2020)Download
Tribes’ Appeal Brief (filed Sept. 16, 2020)Download
D.C. Circuit Appeal: DAPL Reply Brief (filed Sept. 30, 2020)Download
D.C. Circuit Appeal: Army Corps Reply Brief (filed Sept. 30, 2020)Download
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Request for Injunction (filed Oct. 16, 2020)Download
Declarations in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Request for Injunction (filed Oct. 16, 2020)Download
Order Denying Injunction (issued May 21, 2021)Download
Dakota Access' Petition for Certiorari (filed Sept. 20, 2021)Download
Search Results for: dakota access pipeline
US federal judge denies request to shut down Dakota Access Pipeline
Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia denied a request Friday for an injunction to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline, ordering the parties to file a joint status report on how to proceed. Judge Boasberg said that the plaintiff, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, failed to show that [...]
Biden administration defers to courts on Dakota Access Pipeline shutdown
The Biden administration’s Army Corps of Engineers indicated on Friday that they would not stop the flow of oil through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) despite the threat it poses to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s water supply. The project is currently operating without a federal permit. DC District Court Judge James Boasberg shut down [...]
Exxon sues Dakota Access Pipeline operators over disputed fines and fees
XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, sued Energy Transfer LLC on Monday in a Texas state court for breach of contract involving disputed fines related to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The lawsuit claims that Energy Transfer pipeline operators charged XTO unnecessary fines and revoked production volume credits when a series of events outside [...]
Federal appeals court orders environmental impact review of Dakota Access pipeline
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday upheld a district judge’s order for an environmental impact review of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). However, the court declined to shut the line down while the review is completed. The DAPL transports crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline [...]
Federal appeals court temporarily permits Dakota Access Pipeline operation
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Dakota Access Pipeline can continue operating amid legal proceedings. The order rejects a lower court’s decision last week to shut down the pipeline as owner Energy Transfer LP faces legal challenges from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Tuesday’s decision emphasizes [...]
US appeals court sends fossil fuel climate crisis lawsuit back to state court
The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court’s order refusing to remove a lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy from state to federal court on Tuesday. The lawsuit, originally filed in the District Court for the County of Boulder, Colorado in 2018, alleges that the two fossil-fuel companies are liable [...]
Federal court denies motion to reconsider emptying of Dakota Access Pipeline
Judge James E. Boasberg, of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, denied an emergency motion by Dakota Access, LLC on Tuesday to stay his July 6 order directing the company to empty the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) within 30-days. Since July 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, along [...]
Federal judge shuts down Dakota Access Pipeline
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Monday that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) must shut down pending a review of its environmental impact. This ruling comes after Judge James Boasberg ruled in March that the US Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). [...]
Federal judge rules permits for Dakota Access Pipeline violated law
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Wednesday that the permits issued for the Dakota Access Pipeline violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The complaint was brought by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as well as other tribes after the “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded that granting [...]
Iowa Supreme Court of rules Dakota Access Pipeline valid use of eminent domain
The Supreme Court of Iowa ruled Friday that the Dakota Access Pipeline is a valid use of eminent domain in the state of Iowa. The Dakota Access Pipeline is set to be one of the largest oil pipelines in North America, running from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to reach a refinery in [...]