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Judge Rules In Favor of the Dakota Access Pipeline

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On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that he would not vacate the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline and would allow it to operate while federal regulators finish up a review on the project's environmental impacts.

The Hill reported that in a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, declared the Army Corps of Engineers’ review on the environmental impacts of the pipeline had “significant possibility of justifying its prior determinations,” legitimizing the corps’ decision to grant permission to build the pipeline in the first place.

Judge Boasberg rejected an initial review conducted by the corps in June, ruling that the corps “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.”

Although Judge Boasberg initially believed that the federal government “substantially complied” with environmental permitting laws governing the Dakota Access project, he required that the corps account for the aforementioned impacts.  

The pipeline, which has been in operation since June of this year, faced fierce opposition from native tribes in the area, as well as environmental activists since 2014.

Judge Boasberg’s decision marks a big win for Dakota Access and the Trump administration, which supports the pipeline, as the review may take as long as next Spring to finalize.

(Cover Photo: Fibonacci Blue)

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