Although the Trump administration has given the “green light” to move ahead with the final phase of the Dakota Access Pipeline, protesters are attempting last minute ploys to stop its progress.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe insisted it will have its lawyers file another motion in court, this time trying to stop the ongoing project by stating that environmental impact studies weren’t conducted. On top of that motion, another tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux, will file its own motion protesting the pipeline on “religious grounds,” citing it threatens the sacred waters of American Indians.
U.S. Government lawyers maintain they do not need to conduct an environmental impact report and have defended the process that led to construction permits being approved last year though officials did not conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) review at that time.
The Obama administration had asked for an environmental impact statement review in January, but President Trump issued a memo removing that review and allowing the project to move forward.
Dakota Access developers are readying to complete the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project and expect to have it completed within two months.
Jan Hasselman an Earthjustice lawyer for the Standing Rock Sioux, said “Construction has started. We are going to try to get these issues resolved before oil can flow, and so we’re moving very aggressively to put the legal questions in front of the judge and get a determination as soon as we can.”