Army Corps: No Cause to Shut Dakota Pipeline During Review

(Reuters) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it does not believe a judge should order the Dakota Access oil pipeline shut while environmental review continues, according to court filings on Monday.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which came into service in 2017, has been the subject of a lengthy court battle between Native American tribes seeking its closure and the pipeline operators, led by Energy Transfer.

The Corps' position is consistent with statements it made before the court last year.

A U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia threw out a permit last year for DAPL to cross under the Dakotas' Lake Oahe, a drinking-water source for Native American tribes, and ordered a review of the pipeline.

The Army Corps said on Monday that it expected to complete an environmental review of the 570,000-barrel-per-day DAPL out of North Dakota by March 2022, when it will consider whether to issue a new permit for the line.

That judge is now considering whether to grant a request by Native tribes to require that the line cease flows and be emptied while the assessment is carried out.

The Corps, under the direction of President Joe Biden, said at a hearing last month it had no immediate plans to force a DAPL closure.

"The Corps is not aware of information that would cause it to evaluate the injunction factors differently than in its previous filing," it said in Monday's filing.

DAPL's operators intend to seek U.S. Supreme Court review in the case, according to a filing last week.

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