Dakota Access Pipeline to Remain in Operation for Now
Friday, April 9, 2021

An attorney for the US Army Corps of Engineers told a federal judge today the Corps will allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to remain in operation while it continues to review the pipeline's environmental impact.

Judge James Boasberg postponed any decision in the case, instead giving pipeline operator Dakota Access LLC 10 days to update the economic impact information it filed last fall. The company also indicated it intends to ask a panel of judges to review Boasberg's earlier finding that DAPL is illegally operating without a Corps permit. 

The decision comes two months after the Biden administration requested additional time for a hearing on the decision to get the new administration up to speed. Boasberg expressed surprise during the hearing that the administration had not taken a firm stance after the delay.

Boasberg ruled last year that due to its "controversial" nature, the Corps should have conducted a full Environmental Impact Statement on the pipeline's river crossing north of the Standing Rock Reservation, rather than a less-expansive environmental assessment. The EIS record of decision is expected to be issued by March 2022. The Corps' attorney did leave the door open for possible future action if conditions change.

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