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Court allows Dakota Access to remain in service while under review

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Essential Energy Insights - October 2021


Court allows Dakota Access to remain in service while under review

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled to allow Energy Transfer Partners LP's Dakota Access oil pipeline to continue operations while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finishes conducting a review of its environmental impacts.

The $3.8 billion pipeline has been operating since June 1.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg noted in an Oct. 11 opinion that the Corps "has a significant possibility of justifying its prior determinations" regarding permitting the pipeline and must "simply connect the dots." However, he also reminded the Corps to give serious consideration to the errors which led to the additional environmental analysis.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Army Corps are scheduled to appear for a status conference Oct. 18.

Earlier this year, the court agreed with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe that the Army Corps had failed to adequately consider all the environmental impacts of the pipeline, and the court ordered the Corps to perform additional analysis.