Standing Rock: Victory in Court

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The judge has essentially overruled Trump and returned us to this moment when an EIS was required. 

A federal judge made a mixed ruling today, though largely in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST), that the permitting process for the Dakota Access Pipeline was flawed.

Earthjustice, whose legal team represented SRST, has issued a press release.

The full 91-page decision by the judge is available online.

The judge will rule next week whether or not the pipeline should be shut down while a proper permitting and review process takes place.

This ruling is in keeping with my analysis of the environmental permitting process. When Trump abandoned the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the old and deeply-flawed Environmental Assessment (EA) became, once again, the permitting document for the pipeline. It concluded with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), while ignoring important tribal issues. The judge apparently felt the same.

For background on the EIS process, and a summary of the Dakota Access EA and its flaws, see this post.

Further analysis of the judge’s decision will be forthcoming on this blog.

 

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