Oil has been flowing through the much-contested Dakota Access Pipeline for about two months now. Energy Transfer Partners, which built the pipeline, achieved that goal after clearing years of regulatory hurdles and legal folderol.
But yesterday federal Judge James Boasberg issued a ruling that, while rejecting most of the legal arguments made against the pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies, did question whether the U.S. Army Corps had fully complied with the National Environmental Policy Act when it allowed the pipeline to be completed.
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“Although the [Army Corps of Engineers] substantially complied with [the National Environmental Policy Act] in many areas, the Court agrees that it 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,” Boasberg wrote. He went on to rule that “the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis.”