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Judge grants short work stop on 4-state oil pipeline

WASHINGTON – A federal judge has granted the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request to temporarily stop work on some, but not all of a portion of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline to safeguard cultural sites in North Dakota.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said Tuesday that work will temporarily stop between State Highway 1806 and 20 miles east of Lake Oahe, but that work will continue west of the highway because he believes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lacks jurisdiction on private land.

The request granted by Boasberg is different than the tribe’s broader push that challenges federal regulators’ decision to grant permits to the operators of the four-state pipeline. Boasberg said he expects to issue a full opinion on that lawsuit by the end of Friday.

A weekend confrontation between protesters and construction workers near Lake Oahe, North Dakota, prompted the tribe to ask Sunday for a temporary stop of construction.

Attorneys for Energy Transfer Partners filed court documents Tuesday morning denying that workers have destroyed any cultural sites.


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