A federal judge allowed the company behind the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline to hide certain pieces of information about the line to prevent future acts of vandalism.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg decided Thursday the company could hide information pertaining to the so-called DAPL’s leak points at areas along its route. He argued the exception was necessary to prevent possible acts of vandalism in the future.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other DAPL opponents believe information disclosing the route’s leak points could bolster their arguments that the line needs further environmental studies. The project will shuttle 500,000 barrels of Bakken oil from the Dakotas to parts of Illinois.
Boasberg rejected the Cheyenne River Sioux’s request in March to scuttle the southern route of the oil pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The decision essentially exhausted all legal efforts to prevent the multi-billion-dollar pipeline’s construction.
Anti-DAPL activists argue the $3.8 billion project tramples on tribal grounds and could potentially poison the Standing Rock Sioux’s primary water supply if the line springs a leak.
Opposition to the pipeline died down shortly after the Obama administration rejected the hotly contested pipeline route – but DAPL opponents were re-energized after President Donald Trump overturned his predecessor’s order.
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the project, has already “modified the pipeline workspace and route more than a hundred times in response to cultural surveys and Tribes’ concerns regarding historic and cultural resources,” Boasberg wrote in an opinion, referring to the analysis that went into an environmental impact assessment the Army Corps of Engineers conducted prior to approving the line.
He added that rerouting the project around the lake “would be more costly and complicated than it would have been months or years-ago.”
Standing Rock did not reply to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for the publication of this article.
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