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General News    H3'ed 12/9/16

Court Battle Over The Dakota Access Pipeline Continues Into the New Year

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As discussed at today's (December 9, 2016) status hearing in Federal Court, Judge James Boasberg ordered that: 1) Dakota Access' motion to supplement the administrative record is denied without prejudice to be renewed in the event that it believes additional records are required to respond to the Government's forthcoming brief; 2) The Government shall make good-faith efforts to begin compiling the documents sought by Dakota Access, and it shall also supplement the administrative record by January 6, 2017, with all documents concerning the easement that were created on or before July 25, 2016; 3) Dakota Access's motion to expedite is denied in part, given the announced briefing schedule; 4) The Government shall file a combined opposition to Dakota Access's motion for summary judgment and any motion to dismiss by January 6, 2017; 5) The Tribes shall file any opposition(s) by that same date; 6) Dakota Access shall file its combined opposition and reply by January 31, 2017; 7) The Government and the Tribes shall file any replies within 10 days of Dakota Access's filing; 8) The Court shall notify the parties of a date for oral argument if it requires one; and 9) The Government shall promptly notify the Court should it change its position regarding the easement.

The protests at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation have galvanized supporters from around the world.

Last week Congresswoman and Veteran Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) gave a moving speech to Congress in opposition to the pipeline. It is noteworthy in that the five minute speech artfully sums up all of the legal, moral and spiritual issues surrounding DAPL.

The easement at Lake Oahe is the last obstacle Energy Transfer Partners faces in its efforts to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. It was a major victory for the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux when when Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy announced on Sunday that the USACE would not grant the easement under Lake Oahe at this time.

The Judge's Decision moves the arguments into the New Year, with possible decisions coming at late as February. However, the Judge noted that any decision he might make could become moot when Donald Trump takes office in January.

The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline at Lake Oahe, North Dakota has been the subject of litigation since July 2016.

(Article changed on December 9, 2016 at 15:20)

(Article changed on December 9, 2016 at 15:38)

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)

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