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Appeals court denies ND tribe's request to halt Dakota Access construction

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Appeals court denies ND tribe's request to halt Dakota Access construction

An appeals court on Oct. 9 rejected the Standing RockSioux Tribe's request to stop construction of the -ledDakota Access pipeline.

In the order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for theDistrict of Columbia said the tribe failed to show that an injunction to haltconstruction is needed, under conditions such as irreparable harm if aninjunction is not granted and guarantee that public interest will not benegatively affected. The tribefiled the appeal after the D.C. district court the same request.

The appeals court also revoked the temporary restrainingorder halting construction along a stretch of land near Lake Oahe, which wasgranted Sept. 6. However, the project developers still cannot build across LakeOahe until an easement is obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Thefederal government had also previously requested a voluntary pause inconstruction work in the area.

"Although the Tribe has not met the narrow andstringent standard governing this extraordinary form of relief, we recognizeSection 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act was intended to mediateprecisely the disparate perspectives involved in a case such as this one,"the order said. "We can only hope the spirit of Section 106 may yetprevail."

In an Oct. 9 statement, the tribe said despite thedecision, it will be continuing its fight against construction of the $3.7billion project. "We will not rest until our lands, people, waters andsacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline,"said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Jan Hasselman, lead attorney from Earthjustice, calledon Dakota Access to heed the federal government's request to halt constructionnear Lake Oahe. "The government is still deciding whether or not Dakotaaccess should get a permit. Continuing construction before the decision is madewould be a tragedy given what we know about the importance of this area,"Hasselman said.