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Federal Agencies Request Voluntary Pause on Dakota Access Pipeline

Even though U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's claim that the Army Corps of Engineers failed to properly consult with them before beginning construction on the Dakota Access pipeline, three separate federal agencies released a statement requesting that the pipeline company "voluntarily pause" their construction on the segment tribal officials say will pass through land containing sacred artifacts and sites in southern North Dakota.

The statement released by the United States Departments of Army, Interior, and Justice mere minutes after Friday’s ruling over the $3.8 billion oil pipeline that is supposed to cross the Missouri River, said that they will be reconsidering any previous decisions on land bordering or underneath Lake Oahe, one of the six reservoirs on the river and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation’s source of drinking water. The statement also said that the case:

“[H]ighlighted the need for a serious discussion [about nationwide reforms] with respect to considering tribes' views on these types of infrastructure projects."

This federal intervention will likely have an effect on all future proposed infrastructure projects of this kind. According to court papers, Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas, TX-based company building the Dakota Access pipeline, estimated that they would lose as much as $1.4 billion, primarily in lost revenue by delaying their project for a year. In an interview with ABC News, Domina Law Group attorney Brian Jorde commented that:

“There is no question it will be much more difficult and costly for these projects to move forward in the future. The reality is (Dakota Access) likely will move forward — not that I believe it should move forward — but all the pieces are in place for it to go forward. There is too much money involved and too much influence in Washington to just give up."

Brian continues to work with landowners fighting back against the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline which was successfully halted back in November of 2015 when it was officially rejected by President Barack Obama.

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