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Dakota Access Pipeline ordered to shut down by district court

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  • Oil must stop flowing from Dakota Access Pipeline by August 5, with a US District Court for the District of Columbia judge ruling that the Dakota Access company failed to secure proper environmental protections when getting permits for the project.
  • The ruling comes as a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose water supply was put at risk by the pipeline.
  • “Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline will have to close down operations by August 5 following a Monday court ruling.

The US District Court for the District of Columbia found Dakota Access’ plans for environmental protections to be inadequate, failing to fully meet requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Judge James E. Boasberg ordered the company to shut the pipeline down and empty its oil by August 5.

The Trump administration backed the pipeline, with President Trump going so far as to sign an executive order to advance its construction amid legal challenges shortly after taking office in 2017.

The ruling comes as a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. 

After being approved in 2014, the pipeline was rerouted near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, drawing concerns from members over the oil endangering their only water supply.

Protests began as early as 2014 but picked up by the late summer in 2016, with indigenous peoples and thousands of activists descending on North Dakota in an attempt to block the pipeline through peaceful resistance.

In September 2016, the oil company used dogs and pepper spray to disperse protesters, drawing widespread condemnation and international news coverage. 

Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II would eventually testify before the United Nations Human Rights Council to decry the crackdown, but oil would still begin flowing commercially in June 2017.

Yet after four years of litigation, the Standing Rock Sioux have emerged victorious. 

“Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Mike Faith said in a statement.

“This pipeline should have never been built here. We told them that from the beginning.”

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