In ‘Significant’ Win for Water Protectors, Judge Orders Review of DAPL Permits

Written by on June 16, 2017 in Government, Policies with 0 Comments

“This decision marks an important turning point,” said Jan Hasselman of Earthjustice. (Photo: Joe Brusky/flickr/cc)

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

Water protectors celebrated a “very significant victory” on Wednesday as a federal judge deemed safety evaluations of the Dakota Access Pipeline insufficient and ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to “reconsider” its analysis of the risks the crude oil pipeline poses to the environment and the public.

The federal courts have stepped in where our political systems have failed to protect the rights of Native communities.”
—Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice

In a 91-page ruling (pdf), U.S. District Judge James Boasberg declared 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.”

While acknowleging the ruling—which resulted from a lawsuit filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe—as a partial victory because the judge did not order the oil flow stopped, Native American tribes and activists across the country deemed it a substantial win nonetheless.

“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,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a statement. “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.”

Jan Hasselman, an attorney for Earthjustice, said the ruling should not be downplayed as merely exposing “minor, paperwork transgressions.”

“This decision marks an important turning point,” Hasselman said. “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. The federal courts have stepped in where our political systems have failed to protect the rights of Native communities.”

Shortly after entering office, President Donald Trump made clear he would do everything he could to ensure the $3.8 billion project moves forward. As environmental groups feared, the pipeline almost immediately began to spring leaks.

The judge's ruling on Wednesday represents the “first legal victory” for those looking to cease the oil flow before more damage is done.

“We've been saying the Environmental Analysis was not in line with the law, and that based on treaty rights, this project should never have been built,” Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Lakota community organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, said in a statement. “While we wish the flow of oil would be stopped until the hearings are completed, we trust that through prayer and continued vigilance we will stop the flow of oil and make Energy Transfer Partners and this administration keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

Tags: , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend