A federal appeals court lifted the injunction halting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline Sunday evening. This means that the request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction on the pipeline has been denied.
Construction can be allowed to resume on the section of pipeline that runs through the sacred area of land that contains Standing Rock Sioux burial grounds and artifacts. It is an area that holds deep cultural significance for the tribe.
The pipeline, once complete, would cost $3.7 billion and be 1,170 miles long, transporting 470,000 barrels of crude oil across four states.
In a statement posted on Facebook after the decision, Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said:
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is not backing down from this fight. We are guided by prayer, and we will continue to fight for our people. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.”
Others have pledged their continued support as well. Tom Goldstooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network said:
“We are troubled by the court’s decision, but as water protectors and land defenders, our resolve to stop this Bakken frack-oil pipeline will not be diminished. This fight is far from over.”
— climatehawk1 (@climatehawk1) September 15, 2016
Thousands rallied on Monday to show their continued support. Some were even arrested for criminal trespassing, including actress Shailene Woodley:
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 10, 2016
An injunction was initially put on the project after the Standing Rock Sioux expressed their concern over how the pipeline would affect their lands. Unfortunately, the court stated that the tribe hadn’t met the strict requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to halt construction.
However, construction cannot resume immediately, since three federal agencies have ordered a halt on any development of the pipeline on federal lands. The Army Corps, the Justice Department, and the Interior Department will all be fully assessing the environmental impact of the pipeline. Until their decisions are made, construction will remain stopped.
NationofChange has sent two letters to the White House, signed by over 1,000 people, asking President Obama to abandon the pipeline.