The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Sunday night rejected a Native American tribe's attempt to block an oil pipeline from crossing its water source and lands it says are culturally important.
The court rejected a motion to block the Dakota Access pipeline from being constructed in North Dakota. The pipeline has been controversial in recent months due to the objections of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
The tribe says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn't engage with them enough on whether the pipeline would cross culturally important lands. The pipeline also would cross a reservoir upstream from the tribe's reservation, and if a spill were to occur the tribe's water source could be affected.
Despite those concerns, the three-judge panel shot down an injunction to stop construction Sunday because the tribe didn't meet the legal standards for such a maneuver. However, the judges expressed some sympathy.
"Although the tribe has not met the narrow and stringent standard governing this extraordinary form of relief, we recognize that Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act was intended to mediate the disparate perspectives involved in a case such as this one," the decision said.
The tribe sought the injunction under the National Historic Preservation Act, arguing that places of cultural and religious significance to the tribe would be harmed by construction. The tribe said the Army Corps of Engineers didn't consult them enough when issuing a permit for the pipeline.
The 1,172-mile pipeline would run from the oil fields of North Dakota to Illinois. It's expected to transport about 470,000 barrels per day of light, sweet crude oil.