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U.S. judge denies tribes' request to halt Dakota Access pipeline

Staff Writer |
A U.S. district judge Monday denied an emergency request by two North Dakota tribes to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline as crews rush to finish the last section of the 470,000 b/d Bakken crude outlet.

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The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe were seeking a temporary restraining order against the project based on new legal argument that the project violates their religious freedom.

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Construction restarted last week when the Army Corps of Engineers granted the project a federal easement to drill under Lake Oahe, a dammed section of the Missouri River in North Dakota that was at the center of protests for months.

Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court of the District of Columbia said the tribes still have time before oil starts flowing on the system to argue for a preliminary injunction.

Dakota Access estimated last week that it could start commercial service by early May in a best-case scenario. A lawyer said in court Monday that crews might be able to accelerate that timeline.

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