Federal Judge Orders Shutdown, Drainage of Dakota Access Pipeline

In a stunning win for indigenous and environmental justice advocates, the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C. has rescinded a key permit for the controversial crude oil superhighway.

After years of outcry, advocacy, and often violent police retribution against environmental and indigenous activists, a federal court has ordered that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down, Earther’s Dharna Noor reports

According to the groundbreaking update, the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C. ruled today that one of the pipeline’s key permits was in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and that the 1,172 mile-long crude oil superhighway must cease all operations and be emptied of all oil by the end of this summer.

The order comes in response to a lawsuit filed in 2016 by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe alleging that the project would pollute their primary source of water. This March, lawmakers discovered that the now-nixed permit didn’t fully consider experts’ concerns about oil leakages, therefore nullifying its legality.

That said, the fight isn’t over yet. Energy Transfer Partners, the company in charge of operating the DAPL say they will “surely” appeal court’s order––meaning that this case will likely hit the Supreme Court in due time.

In the meantime, grassroots organizers are celebrating the victory. As Dallas Goldtooth, leader of the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Keep It in the Ground Campaign told the enviro news blog, “This decision… just highlights the significance of treaty rights and the significance of environmental justice issues as covered under the NEPA,” while noting that the fight is long from over.

Read more on Earther.