Attorneys with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Army Corps of Engineers, Energy Transfer Partners agree to cease construction on parts of Dakota Access Pipeline

Published: Sep. 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline was being fought on several fronts today, including two courtrooms and a worksite.

In Washington D.C. a federal judge ordered an emergency hearing. Judge James Boasberg was able to broker a temporary agreement among all parties involved.

Attorneys on all sides agreed that no construction will take place between North Dakota Highway 1806 and 20 miles east of Lake Oahe.

The judge denied a temporary restraining order to halt construction west of North Dakota Highway 1806. That motion is based on the tribes' claim that it was not properly consulted before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline project, which would run from North Dakota to Illinois.

An attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the tribe submitted important new evidence on Friday afternoon about the discovery of at least 27 burials and other culturally significant features in the path of the pipeline. The tribe says less than 24 hours later, Dakota Access workers started construction in the area.

"We saw things happening out at Standing Rock, dogs being put on protesters that haven't been seen in America for 40-50 years. Temperatures are too hot out there right now. We asked the court to get everybody to stand down. We also asked him for a temporary restraining order on the land on the other side of route 1806 and that was what was denied. That's where the sites were found on Friday," says Jan Hassleman, attorney representing Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault expressed disappointment in the denial of the temporary restraining order.

He says the court's decision does not prevent DAPL from destroying what he considers to be sacred sites, while they await a ruling on the original motion to stop construction of the pipeline.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline released this statement:

"We were legally on private property that we have an easement on and have all the proper permits and approvals. We were constructing according to our plans. Additionally, there has been nothing destroyed as claimed."

The Army Corps of Engineers has declined to comment, citing pending litigation. Judge Boasberg is expected to make a decision on the case by Friday.

While the tribe has been seeking to stop Dakota Access, the company has also sued in North Dakota to prevent protesters from interfering with construction.

And Tuesday, the temporary restraining order was extended to September 20.