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Judge Grants Pipeline Stoppage in North Dakota

Image: Judge Grants Pipeline Stoppage in North Dakota

More people arrive at the site along North Dakota Highway 1806 near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, where construction of a crude oil pipeline is being challenged. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 11:45 AM

A federal judge granted a partial pipeline work stoppage Tuesday in parts of North Dakota where a Native American tribe claimed sacred sites were threatened.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg partially granted a temporary restraining order on building part of the pipeline and said he will issue a decision Friday in the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's larger dispute against the pipeline, Reuters reported.

Energy Transfer Partners is leading a group of firms in building a $3.7 billion, 1,100-mile pipeline that would transport crude oil from Bakken shale in North Dakota to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

David Archambault II, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal chairman, said in a statement last week that Energy Transfer Partners had already destroyed burial sites, places of prayer, and other cultural artifacts important to the tribe.

"This demolition is devastating," Archambault said in the statement dated Sept. 3. "These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground."

Energy Transfer Partners defended its work and refuted claims of destroying sacred sites in a statement, KFYR-TV reported.

"We were legally on private property that we have an easement on and have all the proper permits and approvals," the company's statement said. "We were constructing according to our plans. Additionally, there has been nothing destroyed as claimed."

Reuters reported that construction crews had removed topsoil across an area about 150 feet wide stretching for two miles northwest of the confluence of the Cannon Ball and Missouri rivers.

"We saw things happening out at Standing Rock, dogs being put on protesters that haven't been seen in America for 40-50 years," Jan Hassleman, attorney representing Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said, according to KFYR-TV.

"Temperatures are too hot out there right now. We asked the court to get everybody to stand down. We also asked him for a temporary restraining order on the land on the other side of route 1806 and that was what was denied. That's where the sites were found on Friday."

Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline, said Tuesday that the Standing Rock Sioux incited pipeline opponents to break the law during protests, Reuters reported.

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A federal judge granted a partial pipeline work stoppage Tuesday in parts of North Dakota where a Native American tribe claimed sacred sites were threatened.
judge, grants, pipeline, stoppage
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2016-45-07
Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 11:45 AM
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