A federal appeals court has unanimously denied a request for a re-hearing before the full court to consider a judge's order that invalidated a river crossing permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The decision by the DC Circuit means the possibility of shutting down the crude oil pipeline still rests in the hands of Judge James Boasberg, who previously ordered the line emptied after ruling that because the project was "controversial," the Corps of Engineers should have completed a full environmental impact statement on the crossing, rather than an environmental assessment.
The Corps effectively punted its defense of its decision at a hearing earlier this month, prompting the state of North Dakota this week to file a petition to intervene in the case. The state's motion seeks "to protect its significant sovereign rights in this matter that...are no longer adequately represented (by the Corps)." The Corps admitted it was under political pressure from both sides at the April 9 hearing, but preferred that the court decide the question of DAPL's continued operation.