A federal judge has ordered the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline while a lengthy environmental review is conducted of the project opposed by environmentalists and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
The move was requested earlier this year by Standing Rock and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas who fear environmental harm from the oil pipeline and sued over the project four years ago. North Dakota officials have said such a move would have "significant disruptive consequences" for the state, whose oil patch has been hit hard in the recent months by falling demand for crude amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Standing Rock Chairman Mike Faith said the tribe is trying to prevent a potential environmental disaster should the line leak.
"For the tribe's sake, it is good news," he said of Monday's ruling. "I think for downstream users, it's good news also."
Pipeline developer Energy Transfer plans to challenge the ruling which, in a statement, it called "an ill-thought-out decision."
The company said it "will be immediately pursuing all available legal and administrative processes," adding that it is "confident that once the law and full record are fully considered Dakota Access Pipeline will not be shut down and that oil will continue to flow."