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Dakota Access asks for full appeals court review on permit

April 14, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Owners of the Dakota Access pipeline have asked the full Washington D.C. circuit court to review a panel’s decision that essentially said the North Dakota project is operating without a key permit, even though the decision to keep oil flowing remains in the hands of a federal judge.

The appeal filed Monday calls for a rehearing on ruling by the three-judge panel affirming U.S. District Judge James Boasberg’s opinion that the pipeline is operating without a federal permit granting easement to cross beneath Lake Oahe, a reservoir along the Missouri River. Opponents want the pipeline shut down while the U.S. Corps of Engineers conducts an extensive environmental review.

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The chances of a full review by the D.C. Court are unlikely and lawyers for the pipeline opponents aren’t required to file a response unless requested by the court.

“That would be an indication that there is some potential interest,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, who is representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its lawsuit against Dakota Access. Standing Rock straddles and North and South Dakota border.

Boasberg said at a hearing last week that he can issue a ruling independent of the appeals court. The Biden administration decided not to intervene in a possible shutdown, angering environmental groups and essentially leaving it up to Boasberg to decide.