Judge orders flow of oil halted through Dakota Access Pipeline

Opponents celebrate as company considers options

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) are celebrating a victory after a U.S. judge ruled a proper environmental impact study (EIS) was not completed on the pipeline and ordered oil running through it to be halted.

“The fact that this operation had been operating illegally for three years before this conclusion was finally made shows you the power that money holds on the American government,” said Harold Frazier, the chairman for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, in a statement.

The fight against the pipeline has been going on for more than four years.

In 2016, a massive gathering in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe captured the world’s attention.

Four years ago, a gathering not seen in generations took place on the banks of the Cannonball River on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe territory.

The fight against the pipeline brought together thousands of Indigenous peoples and allies from around the globe.

Joye Braun, of the Indigenous Environmental Network, was one of the first people to set up camp in opposition to the pipeline.

Braun said, “This is a big win for us. The climate is changing here in the United States. We are starting to win against these climate changers, against these pipelines. Hopefully this spells the end of Dakota Access.”

Braun believes the gathering at Standing Rock was “the beginning of something immense” in the United States.


Watch: Joye Braun speaks with APTN on the DAPL ruling


That movement is celebrating today as a court decision has ordered the flow of oil through the pipeline to cease.

Following many legal twists and turns, a U.S. court judge has ruled the pipeline carrying oil under lake Oahe must cease operations.

The court found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to produce an EIS.

The creation of an EIS is expected to take at least 13 months.

The court ordered the halt of oil to begin within the next 30 days.

In a statement, Mike Faith, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe called this a historic day for the tribe and those who supported the fight against it.

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

Four years ago, the Obama administration had denied the permits for the pipeline and ordered the Army Corps to do a full environmental assessment.

But on his second day in office, president Donald Trump reversed the order.

Kevin Kramer, a republican senator for North Dakota said the decision should be appealed

“Shutting down the Dakota Access Pipeline would have devastating consequences to North Dakota and to America’s energy security. This terrible ruling should be promptly appealed.”

Energy Transfer, the owner of the pipeline says the court ruling is not supported by the law or the facts.

In a statement the company said, “We will be immediately pursuing all available legal and administrative processes and are confident that once the law and full record are fully considered Dakota Access Pipeline will not be shut down and that oil will continue to flow.”

The company called this an “ill-thought-out decision by the court that should be quickly remedied.”

Host/Producer - Winnipeg

Dennis is Metis from southern Manitoba. After spending a decade working in TV in Alberta and Ontario, Dennis returned to Manitoba to join APTN’s Winnipeg bureau as reporter/correspondent in September 2014. In 2016, he won a Canadian Association of Journalists award for his story A Soldier Scorned for APTN Investigates. In 2017, he became a host/producer for APTN National News and Face to Face. In 2020, Dennis and co host Melissa Ridgen were nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best News Anchor, National.