Last June, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled the Army Corps of Engineers environmental impact review for the Dakota Access pipeline “did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.”
Although Boasberg did not order the Dakota Access line to be shut down as requested by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, he did write in his ruling, “The agency failed to adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on Standing Rock’s fishing and hunting rights and on environmental justice, and in February 2017, it did not sufficiently weigh the degree to which the project’s effects are likely to be highly controversial in light of critiques of its scientific methods and data.”
However, federal lawyers filed paperwork last Friday saying the Corps' original completion data of the new review, around early December, would require additional time to complete and would not be available until approximately April 2, 2018.
The agency is waiting for Energy Transfer Partners to submit additional information on the 1,100-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline that began carrying oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in Illinois in June 2017. The pipeline has been opposed by several Native American groups concerned that the Dakota Access line which goes underneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota threatens the only fresh water supply in the region.
According to U.S. News.com, Judge Boasberg is considering halting pipeline operations while the additional study is done but it is not known when he'll rule.