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Judge refuses to delay release of disputed DAPL documents

January 22, 2022 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A state judge has refused to delay the release of thousands of documents related to security during the construction in North Dakota of the heavily protested Dakota Access Pipeline.

South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland in late December ruled that the documents are public. Attorneys for pipeline developer Energy Transfer asked Feland to put on hold disclosure of the records as it appeals to the state Supreme Court.

Feland on Friday gave Energy Transfer the go-ahead to appeal, but she rejected the request to delay release of the records, the Bismarck Tribune reported,

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The documents are being held by the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board, which obtained them during a case involving TigerSwan, the company that Energy Transfer hired to oversee security during construction.

Energy Transfer subsidiary Dakota Access is attempting to intervene in the administrative case involving TigerSwan and the board. It focused on whether TigerSwan operated illegally in the state in 2016 and 2017, when thousands of pipeline protesters gathered in North Dakota and law enforcement made hundreds of arrests.

The administrative case culminated with a settlement in 2020 under which TigerSwan agreed to pay $175,000 to the board but did not admit to any wrongdoing.