The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a petition from the Dakota Access oil pipeline operator to end the ongoing environmental review into the project.
D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, struck down permits for the pipeline in 2020, saying it needed a more rigorous environmental review, known as an Environmental Impacts Statement.
“Dakota Access, which is controlled by Texas-based Energy Transfer, appealed a lower court ruling that affirmed the need for a more thorough environmental study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” ABC News reported.
In January 2017, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order expediting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ review of the DAPL. The 1,172-mile underground pipeline came online in June 2017.
The Biden administration opted against canceling the DAPL in April, electing to instead wait for the final environmental review.
“The Corps issued an easement for the pipeline’s Missouri River crossing in 2017, but a federal judge concluded in 2020 that a prior environmental analysis of the line was inadequate and revoked the permit. The outcome of the new environmental review, which the agency began in September 2020, will determine whether the Corps reissues the permit,” the outlet added.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is concerned that the pipeline could break and that an oil spill could ruin its water supply. The line passes under the Missouri River upstream from its reservation. The tribe first sued over the pipeline five years ago. The pipeline has operated since 2017 and was the target of large protests in south-central North Dakota during construction,” the outlet continued.
“We are gravely concerned about the continued operation of this pipeline, which poses an unacceptable risk to our sovereign nation,” Mike Faith, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said in a statement. “In a meeting with members of Biden’s staff earlier this year, we were told that this new administration wanted to ‘get this right.’”
“Unfortunately, today’s update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows it has chosen to ignore our pleas and stick to the wrong path,” Faith added.
Back in 2017, Trump signed an executive order titled: “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects.”
Trump also signed a decree that the pipelines will be built with American steel, “like we used to in the old days,” and two others: one that he said will streamline “the incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process and reducing regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing,” and another he says will expedite environmental reviews and approvals “for high-priority infrastructure projects.”
“We can’t be in an environmental process for 15 years if a bridge is going to be falling down or if a highway is crumbling,” Trump said at the time.