The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been met with massive resistance all across the country. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been at the heart of this controversy since the start. DAPL was put on hold by President Obama just before he left office. However, during the first week of his reign, President Trump saw to it that DAPL received the green light yet again. There may be a ray of hope for Standing Rock as Washington DC District Court Judge James Boasberg has ruled that DAPL is in violation of the law.

The Decision

Judge Boasberg has agreed with the complaints from the Tribes. The Army Corps of Engineers failed to take into account the environmental impact of oils spills on "fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice." The pipeline will be running underneath Lake Oahe, which is a federally regulated waterway.

This means that the Corps will now be required to perform an Environmental Impact Assessment of the pipeline. This does not stop the construction of the pipeline. That decision will be made next week when the owner of DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners, goes to court once again with the Sioux Tribe. This is not the first time the Tribes have taken their battle into a courtroom. Their initial complaint was that the pipeline would desecrate their sacred lands and infringe upon their religious freedom. They argued that the pipeline was an imminent danger to historical and cultural sites. The case was thrown out, and the Tribe had to change their argument to center around environmental issues instead.

The Pipeline

Since it's conception, DAPL has not been out of the media. Over 3.7 billion has been invested in the pipeline by multiple banks and foreign investors.

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It will span 1,172 miles through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. The main cause of concern is the catastrophic damage that oil spills incur over the land. Billions of dollars in irreversible damage occur every year from oil spills. The current administration has made it very clear to the public that environmental protection and conservation is not a priority. In fact, some of the first things President Trump did upon taking office was to strip funding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), replace their department head with a climate-change denier, dismantle the Clean Water Rule, and officially gag both the EPA and the National Parks Service (NPS). The fight for environmental protections is not yet over. The next decision on the progress of DAPL will be made next week.