Judge orders environmental review of Dakota Access pipeline

Judge orders environmental review of Dakota Access pipeline
A section of the 11.5-foot-tall mile-marker post created by activists at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest goes on display in the exhibition "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations" at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Treaty rights are at the heart of the protests against the pipeline. (Source: Paul Morigi/AP Images for the National Museum of the American Indian)

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline, nearly three years after it began carrying oil.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that the easement approval for the pipeline remains “highly controversial” under federal environmental law, and a more extensive review is necessary than the environmental assessment that was done.

The pipeline was the subject of months of protests, sometimes violent, near the Standing Rock reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The Standing Rock tribe continued to press litigation against the pipeline even after it began carrying oil from North Dakota across several states to a shipping point in Illinois.

Boasberg ordered both parties to submit briefs on whether the pipeline should continue operating during the period of the new environmental review.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.