© C. Ford.
A U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. has ordered the company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline to stop construction for 20 miles on both sides of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe while the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s appeal of its denied motion to do so is considered.
“ORDERED that Dakota Access LLC be enjoined pending further order of the court from construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline for 20 miles on both sides of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe,” a three-judge panel wrote in its decision, handed down late on Friday September 16. “The purpose of this administrative injunction is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for injunction pending appeal and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion.”
This solidifies a request by the federal government on September 9 for Energy Transfer Partners to cease construction along the same swathe, which the Standing Rock Sioux say contains sacred artifacts and ancient burial grounds.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II expressed relief at the decision.
“This is a temporary administrative injunction and is meant to maintain status quo while the court decides what to do with the Tribe’s motion,” he said in a statement. “The Tribe appreciates this brief reprieve from pipeline construction and will continue to oppose this project, which will severly jeopardize its water and cultural resources. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters, and sacred sites are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.”
Attorneys for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe—which has signed on as an intervenor in the case—faced off with Dakota Access LLC attorneys on September 15 in federal district court in Washington before the three-judge panel that will also hear the appeal: Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas B. Griffith and Cornelia T.L. Pillard. They voted 2–1 to stop the company from working, according to the order, with Brown casting the dissenting vote.
Also on Friday, a Bismarck judge dissolved the temporary restraining order on protesting that had been levied against Archambault, Tribal Council Member Dana Yellow Fat, and several other tribal members.
Full story here.