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Judge orders Dakota Access pipeline shut down pending review

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday ordered the Dakota Access pipeline shut down pending a more thorough environmental review, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe three years after the pipeline first began carrying oil following months of protests.

In a 24-page order, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that he was “mindful of the disruption” that shutting down the pipeline would cause, but that it must be done within 30 days. The order comes after Boesberg said in April that a more extensive review was necessary than what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had already conducted and that he would consider whether the pipeline would have to be shuttered during the new assessment.

“The Court does not reach its decision with blithe disregard for the lives it will affect,” Boasberg wrote Monday.

“Yet, given the seriousness of the Corps’ NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) error, the impossibility of a simple fix, the fact that Dakota Access did assume much of its economic risk knowingly, and the potential harm each day the pipeline operates, the Court is forced to conclude that the flow of oil must cease,” he added.

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