CONSTRUCTION OF NORTH DAKOTA OIL PIPELINE TEMPORARILY HALTED
After months of protests, the D.C. Circuit temporarily enjoined further construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline within 20 miles of Lake Oahe in North Dakota while it considers whether to order a longer delay. This follows a September 9 U.S. district court ruling that allowed construction of the pipeline to continue, denying a petition brought by the Standing Rock Sioux. Despite the district court's ruling, DOI, DOJ, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had decided to halt construction of the pipeline on federal lands near Lake Oahe until they conclude whether they need to reassess any of their decisions, particularly in regard to their obligations under NEPA. The pipeline would bring 500,000 barrels of oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing approximately 200 waterways in its route. EPA and local activists are worried that the pipeline will pollute rivers and land sacred to the Sioux tribe, especially since the pipeline was rerouted over concerns about pollution to Bismarck’s drinking water. For the full story, see https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/09/north-dakota-oil-pipeline-judge-denies-construction and http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/09/493280504/judge-rules-that-construction-can-proceed-on-dakota-access-pipeline, and for further information, see https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/07/judge-halts-north-dakota-pipeline-protests-standing-rock-sioux. For the latest D.C. Circuit ruling, see http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/17/us-appeals-court-temporarily-stops-construction-on-north-dakota-pipeline/.