A federal judge is allowing four Native American tribes to challenge the recent conclusion of federal officials that a Dakota Access oil pipeline spill wouldn’t unfairly affect them.
The Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Yankton and Oglala Sioux sued in July 2016 and continue fighting even though the $3.8 billion pipeline began moving North Dakota oil to Illinois in June 2017.
Judge James Boasberg that month ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to further study the pipeline’s impacts on tribes. The agency last fall said additional analysis confirmed the pipeline doesn’t pose a higher risk of adverse impacts to minorities.
Tribes want to challenge that. Boasberg says he’ll allow it, but the Corps and pipeline developer can oppose any new tribal claims not specifically related to the additional study.