Standing Rock scores partial legal victory in suit against Dakota Access

Washington, D.C. - A federal judge has ruled the Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately consider the impacts of a spill from the Dakota Access Pipeline into the Missouri River.

Judge James Boasberg of the D.C. District Court said the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's claim the Corps' failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act is true to some degree.

"Although the Corps substantially complied with NEPA 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," said Boasberg in his ruling.

Boasberg ordered the Corps to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis.

He did not, however, order Dakota Access to stop pumping oil. He said that question will be subject of further briefing.

“This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a recent statement. “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. 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. ”