Tag Archives: legal

Judge Won’t Impose Deadline in Gas Pipeline Suit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge tells developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline he won’t order all landowners in its West Virginia lawsuit to respond by Dec. 4 to motions for summary judgment for rights of way available under federal regulations. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver at a status conference Thursday said he wants the developers to locate landowners and serve them with court papers. The pipeline would extend south for 195 miles (315 kilometers) from north-central West Virginia through 11 counties to the Virginia state line, and nearly […]

Tribes Make Renewed Push for Pipeline Protections

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two American Indian tribes in the Dakotas that are fighting the Dakota Access pipeline in court are making a renewed push to bolster protections for their water supply. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux have filed court documents urging a federal judge to reject the recent arguments of federal officials and the pipeline developer that the tribes’ proposals aren’t needed. The Army Corps of Engineers is conducting an additional court-ordered review of the pipeline’s impact on tribal interests. While that’s done, the tribes want additional protections such as emergency equipment […]

Lawsuit Seeks to Stop Work on NEXUS Pipeline

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Environmental groups are taking another shot at trying to stop construction of a natural gas pipeline that will run across northern Ohio and into Michigan and Canada. The Sierra Club and others are behind a lawsuit filed Monday challenging a federal commission’s decision to allow construction of the NEXUS pipeline, which recently began. The 255-mile-long pipeline is one of several being built or in the planning stages to carry gas from shale fields in Appalachia. Plans for the pipelines have generated intense opposition from residents worried about property rights, safety and […]

Appeals Court Denies Atlantic Sunrise Construction Stay

Williams Partners L.P. today announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has denied an emergency motion to stay the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authorization of the company’s Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project, allowing construction to immediately resume. “We are pleased that the court has lifted the administrative stay of construction activities and denied the emergency motion for stay filed by the project opponents,” said Micheal Dunn, Williams Partners’ chief operating officer. “We will promptly resume construction activities on this important pipeline project, which will leverage existing energy infrastructure to deliver economic […]

Williams Partners Takes Legal Action Against Atlantic Sunrise Construction Halt

Williams Partners L.P. today filed a Motion for Clarification of an administrative stay issued yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions’ authorization of the company’s Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project. The purpose of the administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider an emergency motion filed by project opponents last week requesting FERC extend a comprehensive four-year permitting process even further. “Atlantic Sunrise has undergone a nearly four-year, extensive review process and is operating and being constructed in compliance […]

Court Orders Pause in Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Construction

COLUMBIA, Pa. (AP) — A federal appeals court has temporarily halted construction of a natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania. LNP reports the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., stopped work on the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline. Environmental groups are asking for a comprehensive environmental review of the pipeline by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A spokesman for pipeline builder Williams Partners says the company is assessing the impact of the temporary order. Williams is preparing to run the pipeline through a cornfield owned by an order of nuns. The Adorers of the Blood of Christ […]

Dakota Access Sued over Farmland Damage

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota farming family has sued the Dakota Access pipeline company, alleging it reneged on promises to restore farmland damaged during the oil pipeline’s construction. Slack Family Properties accuses Dakota Access LLC of fraud, deceit, breach of contract and taking property without authorization. The Argus Leader reports the Harrisburg-area family says five parcels of its farmland were damaged, causing the loss of corn and soybean crops for two growing seasons. The lawsuit was filed this week in Lincoln County Circuit Court. In easement agreements with landowners, Dakota Access promised […]

80 Oil Pipeline Companies Off The Hook For Wetlands Damage

Over 80 oil and gas pipeline companies will be exonerated of a lawsuit that claims damage to wetlands via the construction of canals in Louisiana after the Supreme Court decided this week not to hear the case. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East had filed their appeal against the 5th circuit’s decision back in March. The issue regarded the venue of the suit, which, according to U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette, should have been in a federal court. The levee authority insisted the case be fought in a state court instead. The appeals court also […]

Pipeline Protest Charges Dismissed Against Journalist

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Obstruction and disorderly conduct charges have been dismissed against a photo journalist covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protest last year. Sara Lafleur-Vetter was working for The Guardian, a London-based news outlet, when she was arrested Oct. 22 with 140 other people at the pipeline easement near state Highway 1806. Defense attorney Amanda Harris argued there was no evidence against Lafleur-Vetter and that photos show she had cameras and equipment and was working. Harris says Lafleur-Vetter identified herself as a journalist when she was arrested. Surrogate Judge Thomas Merrick dismissed the misdemeanor […]

Minnesota Judge Allows Necessity Defense in Pipeline Case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has taken the unusual step of allowing four protesters to use a “necessity defense,” enabling them to present evidence that the threat of climate change from Canadian tar sands crude is so imminent that they were justified in trying to shut down two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines last year. Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein freely acknowledge they turned the emergency shut-off valves on two pipelines on Oct. 11, 2016, in Clearwater County in northwestern Minnesota. It was part of a coordinated action by Climate Direct Action activists to shut […]

North Dakota Landowners’ Lawsuit Against Pipeline Dismissed

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nearly two dozen North Dakota landowners who alleged the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline and a consultant used deceit and fraud to acquire private land easements for the project. But a court case in Iowa involving the pipeline and landowners is expected to linger into next year. In North Dakota, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in a ruling dated Tuesday sided with a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Contract Land Staff, a land acquisition consulting business also based […]

Judge Allows Dakota Access Pipeline to Keep Running During Review

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Dakota Access oil pipeline can continue operating while a study is completed to assess its environmental impact on an American Indian tribe. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg’s decision will come as a blow to the Standing Rock Sioux, who have argued that an oil spill from the pipeline under Lake Oahe — from which the tribe draws its water — could have a detrimental effect on the tribal community. The $3.8 billion pipeline built by Energy Transfer Partners has been operating since June 1, […]