U.S. District Judge James A. Boasberg is expected to announce his ruling later today on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline which is scheduled to run through North Dakota, into South Dakota, Iowa and connect with another pipeline in Illinois.
The Standing Rock Sioux have expresses concerns that the pipeline will damage historical ancestry landmarks, put their water supply at risk, and that the Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Historic Preservation Act when it decided to run the pipeline through their lands. They are being represented by lawyers from Earthjustice. Last week a temporary moratorium was enacted to stop construction of the project and both sides were given time over the last week to state their side of the story. They are hoping for a permanent stoppage in today’s ruling.
The project is being built by a Texas company, Energy Transfer Partners, and they claim that the Standing Rock Sioux had ample time before construction began to state their case. They claim the pipeline would carry 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken region of North Dakota to the existing pipeline already in Illinois.
People have been out protesting in this area for several weeks now, or even months, and on September 3, of this year, attack dogs and pepper spray were used on the protesters.
Just yesterday, North Dakota’s Governor, Jack Dalrymple, activated the National Guard to assist the Morton County Sheriff’s department with traffic at hot spots and support in other ways if needed. Just having the presence of the guard there, they hope, will have a calming effect on the protesters if things go badly.
“The Guardsmen will not be going to the actual protest site,” the North Dakota National Guard said Thursday afternoon. “The governor also placed additional Guardsmen on standby alert in the event they are needed to support law enforcement response efforts.”
Stay tuned on this one folks, as things may get crazy. The announcement is expected today before noon central time, and I will update when news breaks.