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Standing Rock protest area to be closed by Army Corps of Engineers

Standing Rock protest area to be closed by Army Corps of Engineers

A United States federal judge has rejected a last-ditch legal challenge from a Native American tribe to halt construction of the controversial North Dakota pipeline. Attorney Nicole Ducheneaux said in court documents that the pipeline "will desecrate the waters" that the Cheyenne River Sioux rely on.

It follows last week's clearance for the project to resume despite claims by the the Cheyenne and Standing Rock Sioux tribes that it endangers their cultural sites and water supply. The ruling means few legal moves remain for those protesting the pipeline, although many have vowed to stay at Standing Rock and continue their opposition.

In his testimony, Mahmoud also said the pipeline, which will carry shale oil from North Dakota's Bakken Region to Patoka, Illinois, has been "subjected to a series of politically motivated actions by the previous administration, accompanied by a host of half-truths and misrepresentations in both social and mainstream media".

Though Harrison will stress how the pipeline puts his tribe at risk, Mahmoud, the Energy Transfer executive, is not likely to lend a friendly ear.

U.S. District Court Judge James A. Boasberg rejected a request Monday by tribes to block temporary construction on the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline's last piece under Lake Oahe. He says he'll consider the request more thoroughly at a February 27 hearing.

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The controversial project is an approximately 1,900 km pipeline that connects the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota and Patoka Illinois, the $3.78 billion project was planned to function by January 1, almost 90 per cent is reported to have been completed.

That easement will allow the Dakota Access pipeline to be completed by tunneling under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that forms part of the Missouri River.

The group went on to suggest the veterans were arrested on their way to the Standing Rock Sacred Stone camp, a makeshift campsite DAPL opponents use as a base of operations for their demonstrations.

The line is set to run from oilfields in the Northern Plains of North Dakota to the Midwest, and then to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, could be operating by early May. Beyond the environmental concerns often at the center of the pipeline protests, the tribe's motion for an injunction squarely defines final authorization of the pipeline by the corps as an existential threat: destruction of the tribes' religion and way of life.

Capt. Ryan Hignight with the US Army Corps of Engineers said they would be escorting the contractor to the camp to survey and estimate the amount of time needed for the cleanup, and no, they will not be escorted by law enforcement because it is not needed.

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