Army Says Study Won't Affect Court Fight Over Pipeline

Protestors at Dakota Access Oil Pipeline
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 11:58:14-05

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Army says the launch of a full environmental study of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline's disputed crossing under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota won't impact a related court battle.

The Army published a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday of its intent to further study the Lake Oahe crossing.

Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners wants U.S. District Judge James Boasberg (BOHZ'-burg) to block the study from moving forward until he rules on a related dispute. ETP maintains it already has the necessary permission for the crossing; the Army says it doesn't.

The Army says in court documents that the Federal Register notice could be withdrawn if Boasberg were to eventually rule ETP has permission. Army attorneys argue that Boasberg should let the study move forward for now.