Judge allows Dakota Access to remain operational

Oct 11, 2017

A section of the Dakota Access Pipeline waits to be buried in Morton County last fall.
Credit Amy Sisk / Inside Energy

A federal judge has ruled the Dakota Access Pipeline can continue operations while the Army Corps of Engineers updates its environmental analysis.


Earlier this summer, judge James Boasberg found that the Corps fell short in analyzing the impact of a potential oil spill on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and its residents.

But on Wednesday, the judge refused to shut the pipeline down, as the tribe had requested. Boasberg said there is a “serious possibility” that a new review will support the Corps’ original permitting decisions. The Corps expects to finish its analysis this spring.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that led the fight against the pipeline expressed disappointment. An attorney for the tribe said the judge’s decision continues a historic pattern of tribes facing harm while others profit.