A federal district court judge ruled on Friday that the Dakota Access Pipeline can remain operational until the Army Corps of Engineers completes an Environmental Impact Statement.
The corps will finish the review in March 2022.
Native American tribes and environmentalist groups had tried to shut down the DAP because they said its construction crushed sacred artifacts and threatened Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, Reuters reported.
“We believe the Dakota Access Pipeline is too dangerous to operate and should be shuttered while environmental and safety implications are studied – but despite our best efforts, today’s injunction was not granted,” the group Earthjustice, which represents the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in the lawsuit, said on Friday.
D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg denied the plaintiff’s appeal for an injunction to immediately freeze the pipeline because he said its operation did not threaten irreparable harm.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., praised the court’s decision, according to a press release.
“Once again, reason prevails over political pressure in our effort to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline up and running,” he said. “The pipeline has passed every environmental review put before it by multiple administrations and overseen by career professionals who know the pipeline has been operating safely for four years and believe a shutdown is unnecessary.”
The DAK’s owner, Energy Transfer LP, and its operators have stated that the pipeline complies with environmental and safety regulations.
“Now this modern piece of infrastructure can keep moving hundreds of thousands of barrels of domestic oil per day instead of by more dangerous, expensive, and higher-emission methods like by truck or rail,” Cramer said. “Judge Boasberg’s ruling is a win for states’ rights, energy independence, and the American people’s pocketbooks.”