'Huge Victory' for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as Federal Court Rules DAPL Permits Violated Law

  
Via:  1stwarrior  •  3 days ago  •  41 comments

'Huge Victory' for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as Federal Court Rules DAPL Permits Violated Law
"This is what the tribe has been fighting for many months. Their fearless organizing continues to change the game."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


A federal judge handed down a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota on Wednesday, ruling that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving federal permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The USACE must complete a full environmental impact study of the pipeline, including full consideration of concerns presented by the Standing Rock Tribe,   the judge ruled.  The tribe has   asked the court   to ultimately shut the pipeline down.

The court   chastised   the USACE for moving ahead with affirming the permits in 2016 and allowing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) crossing the Missouri River after President Donald Trump assumed office in 2017, without considering the expert analysis put forward by the tribe. 

The Standing Rock Sioux had raised concerns regarding the likelihood and danger of potential oil spills, DAPL's leak-detection system, and the safety record of Sunoco Logistics, the company behind the pipeline. Sunoco "has experienced 276 incidents resulting in over $53 million in property damage from 2006 to 2016" and has "one of the lowest performing safety records of any operator in the industry," the tribe's experts found.

The federal ruling "validates everything the Tribe has been saying all along about the risk of oil spills to the people of Standing Rock," said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman in a   statement.   "The Obama administration had it right when it moved to deny the permits in 2016, and this is the second time the court has ruled that the government ran afoul of environmental laws when it permitted this pipeline. We will continue to see this through until DAPL has finally been shut down."

DAPL and the fight against the pipeline was the subject of international attention in 2016 when   thousands of water defenders   gathered at camps in North Dakota, facing a highly militarized police force armed with tanks, riot gear, rubber bullets, and other weapons. 

Since Trump reversed former President Barack Obama's December 2016 order denying the permits and allowed the construction to be completed in June 2017, the tribe has   challenged   the permits and demanded the USACE conduct a full environmental analysis.

Wednesday's ruling represented a "huge victory" for the tribe, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted.

"Such thanks to all who fight!" he wrote.

"After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,"   said  Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith. "It's humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet. Perhaps in the wake of this court ruling the federal government will begin to catch on, too, starting by actually listening to us when we voice our concerns."

Others on social media celebrated the victory and applauded the "tireless efforts" of the campaigners, with the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America calling the decision the "absolute best possible outcome" of the court battle.


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1stwarrior
1  seeder  1stwarrior    3 days ago

"After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win. It's humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet."
—Mike Faith, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  1stwarrior @1    3 days ago

How long has the environmental impact of the pipeline been studied?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    3 days ago

The original EA, since 2006 or maybe a little earlier.  The latest one was written in 2016  - https://www.mvs.usace.army.mil/Portals/54/docs/pm/Reports/EA/DAPL/DAPLSTLFINALEAandSIGNEDFONSI%203Aug2016.pdf?ver=2016-08-22-164859-507

The issue, in my mind, is that there are 12 specific sections in NEPA that REQUIRE any action agency to conduct consultation with tribes on any project that "may" have or has the potential for causing an environmental concern.  ACOE did not follow NEPA by conducting any of those consultation requirements.

On page EA-68, the EA states that they "issued letters" to the tribes/nations potentially impacted (70 of them) wanting to know if the tribes/nations "wished" to consult - only the Osage replied.

NEPA's requirement for tribal/nation consultation is that "all means necessary to involve tribes/nations in the consultation process" is NOT done by sending a letter to the tribes/nations.  You have to personally reach out and contact them.  Hell, the majority of the tribes/nations potentially impacted don't have 24/7 office hours - many of them only have post office boxes that aren't checked on daily.

After reading the EA - piss poor job of following NEPA.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
1.1.2  Larry Hampton  replied to  1stwarrior @1.1.1    2 days ago

This is a pipeline replacement that is being proposed. Line 3 runs right through the middle of my besties 18 or so acres of heaven, that sits just a few miles south of East Grand Forks MN.

384

Enbridge showed up at his place 4 years ago to complete an environmental study. They brought along some biology students and equipment from the University of North Dakota to run the assessment (it was some sorta recorder for bat behavior). According to them at that time, the study would be completed a week or two after they picked up the equipment from his yard, which would stay in place and be monitored for about ten days.

Nobody ever collected any data from the device (he was told it didn't transmit, and all data would have to be directly collected form the instrument). Nobody ever came to pick the equipment up; and, when asked about the result of the survey upon calling for info, my buddy was promised an assessment by mail, which he never received. The study has not yet been completed, and he was never given any info about anything that was or was not, found. The equipment went into the burn-barrel.

The entire environmental study thing is a complete pain in the ass of the energy companies, and from what I've seen, not taken seriously at all by them.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Larry Hampton @1.1.2    2 days ago

Larry - unfortunately, that's how the surveys are being done - "lowest bidder", which usually means farming out to a college/university/institute of higher learning as the worker bees, but with no follow through.  When I ran the NEPA for the AF Western Region, our contracts ensured complete follow-up with daily briefings.  Ticked a lot of outside contractors off, but the results we received, I could always catalog and pin-point areas of concern within a short time frame or immediately.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  1stwarrior @1    3 days ago

Another step in the right direction.....

Great news at a time we could use some.

 
 
 
Citizen Kane-473667
2  Citizen Kane-473667    3 days ago

Whatever happened to Tribal Lands being Sovereign Nations anyway???

 
 
 
1stwarrior
2.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Citizen Kane-473667 @2    3 days ago

Depends - SCOTUS sez they are, Congress sez "maybe/depends".

 
 
 
lady in black
3  lady in black    3 days ago

Good news!

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
4  Larry Hampton    3 days ago

Great news!

 
 
 
evilgenius
5  evilgenius    3 days ago

Nice! And about time too.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6  Nerm_L    3 days ago

Seems to me this is a bittersweet victory.  I'm too far away to track the details.  As I recall, the tribal disagreement was more about cultural values than environmental concerns.  While using environmental arguments achieves an end, the means only kicks the can down the road.

The country is still avoiding the important questions of value.  We are still trying to measure the value of everything in terms of money.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
7  JohnRussell    3 days ago

The Trump appointed Supreme Court will have the last say.  Trump wants pipelines. 

Will his two appointees deny him? 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  JohnRussell @7    3 days ago

Yup - Gorsch(sp) has worked many tribal issue cases and has ruled in favor of the tribes/nations on all cases where the tribes/nations have standing and legitimacy.  This would be one of those cases.

 
 
 
loki12
7.1.1  loki12  replied to  1stwarrior @7.1    3 days ago

1st, This doesn't fit the all things trump bad narrative.  

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  loki12 @7.1.1    2 days ago

I know - and, as usual, one of the reasons there's not much traffic on the thread.

Darn - what to do, what to do?

 
 
 
loki12
7.1.3  loki12  replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.2    2 days ago

Keep posting, and raising the collective IQ of the single topic posters. Or at least their awareness of events outside of trump and religion bad.

I honestly think that the EPA full investigation should be mandatory for all toxic chemicals, No matter whose land it is on.  The Nations land SHOULD require their sign-off also. It is unbelievably arrogant to put our values of the land, onto the people who revere it.  

 
 
 
Kavika
7.1.4  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.2    2 days ago
Darn - what to do, what to do?

Probably point out a section of the article that states that Trump's EO is what caused DAPL and XPL lawsuits that led to this decision by a federal judge.

It's right in the article. 

As for Justice Gorsuch, he has a long history of understanding treaty rights and Indian Law which makes him one of the very few current justice's  (RBG being the other) that actually understands this portion of the law. 

One of his most important decisions, IMO, was the Yakama Tribe vs State of WN. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1.5  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @7.1.4    2 days ago

Yeah - that's the ticket - make it about Trump and everyone will be happy, eh?

I think Kagan and Gorsuch and, quite possibly, Kavenaugh would lean towards the tribes/nations.  Beyer, Sotomayer, Alito and quite possibly Ginsberg may go with them.

We'll see.

 
 
 
Kavika
7.1.6  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.5    2 days ago

I didn't make it about Trump, I pointed out what is in the article. It might have led to a more in-depth discussion. 

Not much point in commenting at all. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1.7  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @7.1.6    2 days ago

Trump is not the cause of the piss poor environmental impact statement.  It was started during the Obama era.

 
 
 
Kavika
7.1.8  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.7    2 days ago

Seems as though you forgot Trump's EO's.

No worries I won't bother commenting again.

 
 
 
Split Personality
7.1.9  Split Personality  replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.7    2 days ago
"The Obama administration had it right when it moved to deny the permits in 2016, and this is the second time the court has ruled that the government ran afoul of environmental laws when it permitted this pipeline. We will continue to see this through until DAPL has finally been shut down."

Seems like Obama agreed with the tribes, piss poor impact statements and all.  Trump overturned the previous Administrations denial with an EO.

So can you make up your mind?

Are you pleased that the DAPL is once again halted?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1.10  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @7.1.8    2 days ago

There's a lot of things I haven't forgotten and there are many things I don't discuss.  If the other commenters want to do a bash Trump on this thread - it will be taken down.

The thread is how the courts are handling the legal justifications not handled, in accordance with existing laws, for environmental studies/impacts.

This particular judge has ruled that the ACOE's EIS is/was at fault.

"It's humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet. Perhaps in the wake of this court ruling the federal government will begin to catch on, too, starting by actually listening to us when we voice our concerns."

That is what consultation with the tribes/nations mean - back and forth conversations with meaningful dialogue.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1.11  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Split Personality @7.1.9    2 days ago

If Fed judges make a determination that the EIS is in error then, yes, DAPL should be halted.

 
 
 
loki12
7.1.12  loki12  replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.10    2 days ago
The thread is how the courts are handling the legal justifications not handled

What many partisan hacks fail to grasp is this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ is the only thing that is permanent. Those that love trumps EO's and hate Obamas and vice versa, If you live by the pen you die the pen.  And it's time the Courts hold this up, A President CANNOT wave a pen and change law, whether he is your guy or the other guy.  

 
 
 
Kavika
7.1.13  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.10    2 days ago

I'm well aware of the thread and just to point out that I was not the first to bring up Trump.

Start with 7.1.1 

As far as a meaningful dialog when is the last time there was a meaningful dialog between the tribes and the government. 

The lack of meaningful dialog is the crux of the lawsuit and the ruling by the federal judge. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1.14  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @7.1.13    2 days ago

Absolutely, and that's my point.  If the Feds really want something, they "may" have dialogue - but, that's been true with all the administrations and this one is no exception.  Obama, Nixon and even LBJ conducted more dialogue with the tribes/nations than any of the other administrations, and Nixon's NEPA/EPA law was one of the great starters.  It's just too bad the Feds don't pay attention to their own laws.

 
 
 
Kavika
7.1.15  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.14    2 days ago

I'll agree that the administrations you mentioned did at least try to do the right thing (in their eyes). The Nixon administration was probably the most progressive, but they are not my favorite by any means. I fully remember ''Wounded Knee'' and how it was handled by the Nixon administration. I was a recipient of that ''pissing backward'' by the Nixon administration and spend some hard time because of it. 

So my viewpoint is from a ''on the ground'' participant in some of these battles between Natives and the US government. 

The ''consultation'' is, IMO, pie in the sky BS.

 
 
 
Split Personality
7.1.16  Split Personality  replied to  1stwarrior @7.1.11    23 hours ago

800

I have harped about this since I started social media over two decades ago

and enumerated all of the leaks I have endured as a home owner, car owner, RV owner, boat owner and beneficiary of USN steam and nuclear power.

EVERY thing we build including one unfortunate Space Shuttle eventually leaks to the point of local or national disaster.

Full Stop.

Period.

Pipelines are a national embarassment

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/amy-mall/pipeline-incident-statistics-reveal-significant-dangers

 
 
 
Split Personality
7.1.17  Split Personality  replied to  Split Personality @7.1.16    23 hours ago

not to mention all of the "acceptable leakage" on a B-52 or other high altitude aircraft...

 
 
 
1stwarrior
7.1.18  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Kavika @7.1.15    11 hours ago

"Sure you can trust the government - just ask an Indian."

 
 
 
Steve Ott
9  Steve Ott    2 days ago

You beat me to it. Saw this, but had to log onto work at the same time. I believe it to be great victory for the defenders.

 
 
 
WallyW
10  WallyW    2 days ago

DAPL has been in operation for close to three years. It's highly unlikely that it will be shut down

There are close to 2.5 million miles of pipelines in the US.

https://pipeline101.org/Where-Are-Pipelines-Located

 
 
 
Split Personality
10.1  Split Personality  replied to  WallyW @10    23 hours ago

Yes Wally, there are.

And this is why people want to shut them down.

800

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/amy-mall/pipeline-incident-statistics-reveal-significant-dangers

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
10.1.1  Larry Hampton  replied to  Split Personality @10.1    12 hours ago

I'll bet good money that nearly none of these company's execs have a pipeline running through their property.

Pipelines kill.

Hundreds of thousands of miles of leaking pipelines already crisscross the region. Recent advances in unconventional oil extraction like fracking have led to record amounts of oil in the United States. This — combined with a new rush to export oil and natural gas — is leading to an explosion in new pipeline proposals.

Pipelines destroy wetlands, pollute our water, threaten our fishing and outdoor recreation industries, and put communities at risk of explosions and pollution. New pipelines are the largest single contributor to wetland damage in the Gulf, causing the loss of thousands of acres of wetland forest every year.

It's not enough that Exxon, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron have torn apart Louisiana’s wetlands with older pipelines, which require thousands of annual repairs; in the era of fracking and oil export, there has been rapid increase in large oil pipelines being built to export oil to other countries.

Right now, the largest proposed pipelines in the region are "Ace Pipeline," the "Swordfish Pipeline," and the "Seahorse Pipeline."

Healthy Gulf will continue to fight these and other destructive pipelines by analyzing and commenting on wetland destruction and water pollution permits, watchdogging existing oil and gas infrastructure, organizing against the most harmful pipelines, and taking the necessary legal action to protect our communities and environment.   

5c90277393d5e65650a7b3a3_pipeline_0.jpg

 
 
 
1stwarrior
10.1.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Larry Hampton @10.1.1    12 hours ago

I know this is a stupid thought, but what if?????  What if the strong environmental groups were to join forces, review all the EIS/EA's for pipeline construction and then file lawsuits under NEPA and many of the other environmental laws/regulations against the petroleum industry and the U.S.government for violation/willful intent to skirt the laws/regulations??

Instead of coming at the corporations/government with piecemeal suits, having joint suits for/against the largest offenders, I believe the courts would look favorably into the suits.

Just a thought.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
10.1.3  Larry Hampton  replied to  1stwarrior @10.1.2    10 hours ago
Just a thought.

Good Idea; it's an uphill battle as is.

 
 
 
Split Personality
10.1.4  Split Personality  replied to  Larry Hampton @10.1.1    7 hours ago

Well besides a few of the pyramids we can't build or maintain anything.

Who hasn't had a car or truck leak something whether ists anti freeze or some kind of oil/lubricant?

Who hasn't gotten involved in plumbing around the hose or place of employment?

One of the older trades, plumber?

And when we fail we fail spectacularly.

The Columbia - bad seals.

320

The Kalamazoo River Pipeline spill

320

Deepwater Horizon...

320

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
11  Perrie Halpern R.A.    yesterday

Well, nice to read some good news. 

 
 
 
Ender
12  Ender    10 hours ago

A reprieve for now yet I wonder how long will it last.

In the end governments, local, state and federal tend to get the lands they want.

It is also ridiculous to me for them to press forward with the pipeline as I thought I had read that Canada, where this tar is coming from, already found another route.

 
 
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