Judge: Dakota Access pipeline can stay open pending Corps review

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FILE – In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, heavy equipment is seen at a site where sections of the Dakota Access pipeline were being buried near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. Native American tribes opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline once again have asked a federal judge to stop the flow of oil while the legal battle over the line’s future plays out. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the Dakota Access oil pipeline can continue to operate while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts an extensive environmental review.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg announced his decision Friday.

Attorneys for the pipeline’s Texas-based owner, Energy Transfer, argued that shuttering the pipeline would be a crushing economic blow to several entities, including North Dakota, and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation tribe.

Attorneys for the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes say the pipeline is operating illegally without a federal permit granting easement to cross beneath a Missouri River reservoir.

The Standing Rock, which draws its water from the Missouri River, says it fears pollution.

The company says the pipeline is safe.

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