DAPL Approval by Corps of Engineers Illegal, Judge Finds

GR: Government control over environmental decisions leaves nature open to political depredation by greedy politicians and their corporate handlers. Policy backed by science instead of politics backed by greed should regulate all forms of land use including construction, farming, fishing, forestry, grazing, and mining. Though the power of money over reason often controls the courts in the largest cases, small regional cases such as those concerned with a single pipeline are sometimes handled rationally. Since the DAPL pipeline has already leaked, there is a fair chance the court will decide to halt transmission. (Don’t you love it when I make the most obvious comments?)

Court victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline (Lucas Reynolds).

Court Rules for the Standing Rock Sioux in DAPL Suit

Judge James Boasberg’s 91-page decision says U.S. Army Corps ‘did not adequately consider’ oil spill impacts; no ruling on whether to keep DAPL operational.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the law in its fast-tracked approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a U.S. District Court Judge in Washington D.C. has ruled. Judge James Boasberg said the Corps did not consider key components of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in granting the Lake Oahe easement under the Missouri River when directed to do so by President Donald Trump shortly after his swearing-in.

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with the Cheyenne River Sioux as interveners, had challenged the approval on the grounds that adequate environmental study had not been conducted. Boasberg agreed on many points, though he did not rule on whether the pipeline should remain operational. It has been carrying [and leaking] oil since June 1.

“Although the Corps substantially complied with NEPA in many areas, the Court agrees that it did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial,” Boasberg said in his 91-page decision. “To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court. Whether Dakota Access must cease pipeline operations during that remand presents a separate question of the appropriate remedy, which will be the subject of further briefing.” –ICMN Staff (DAPL Approval Illegal, Judge Finds – Indian Country Media Network).

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