Federal Court Closes Dakota Access Pipeline Case, But Allows for Fresh Challenges

NEW YORK (Reuters) — A U.S. district court closed a long-running case against the Dakota Access oil pipeline on Tuesday but allowed for Native American tribes and other opponents of the line to file additional actions against it, court documents showed.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in May denied a request by the Standing Rock Sioux and other adversaries of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to shut the pipeline, saying the tribes had failed to prove the line's continued operation would cause irreversible harm.

The decision allowed the 570,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) pipeline out of North Dakota's Bakken shale basin to continue operating at least until an environmental review of the line is completed, a process that is expected to take until March 2022.

The court scrapped a key environmental permit for the pipeline last year and ordered the environmental review, as the tribes and environmental groups argued that the pipeline threatened to contaminate the Missouri River and vital drinking water sources.

Operators of the pipeline, including Energy Transfer LP, have argued that DAPL complied with regulatory and safety requirements.

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