The Dakota Access pipeline was built by Energy Transfer Partners, the company that operates the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
But the Dakota Pipeline Company is the company with the largest assets on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, and it has a history of working with the Army Corps of Engineers to push back against the Army.
This month, the Standing Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against the pipeline company for a range of environmental violations, including using eminent domain, denying them the right to the site, and violating their treaty rights.
In the process, the tribe’s legal team also used its First Amendment rights to gather signatures on a petition calling on the Army to release the tribe from the pipeline.
This petition was filed under a controversial section of the Indian Act, which allows tribes to sue the federal government for violating tribal sovereignty and the U.S. Constitution, and that is why it was filed in federal court in North Dakota.
The Dakota Pipeline company has said the tribe did not sue the Army over the pipeline, but it has been pushing back against this claim in court, arguing that the tribe does not have standing because the tribe was never notified the Army planned to use eminent domain for the pipeline’s construction.
In an April 4 filing, the U,S.
Army Corps argued that the Standing Stock Sioux Tribe was the one that filed the lawsuit and that its complaint was frivolous.
The tribe is seeking $5 million in damages for the environmental violations and $25 million for the violation of its treaty rights, according to a court filing.
“The Standing Stock Plaintiffs seek to seek a judgment of final, undisputed and punitive damages on the ground that the US.
Department of the Interior has failed to comply with the Indian Claims Act,” the filing reads.
“The Standing Sioux Defendants are therefore entitled to the relief sought by Plaintiffs in their respective actions.”
The filing also points out that the lawsuit was filed to prevent the pipeline from being built, and not to protect the water.
“Instead, the Defendants seek to prevent Plaintiffs from obtaining a remedy that would not have been available to them had the Standing Cannon Oil Pipeline not been built,” the court filing reads, referencing the controversial project that is slated to run from North Dakota to Illinois.
The Standing Rock tribe filed its lawsuit against Energy Transfer in October, claiming that the company violated the federal treaty by moving the Standing Creek oil field to a different location, the pipeline was not built according to the law, and the pipeline is not safe.
In a statement on Monday, Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren said that he was “deeply disappointed” with the court decision.
“While the Standing Oglala Sioux Tribe does not seek to pursue any litigation in this case, we recognize the court has recognized our rights to seek justice and redress in this matter, and will be taking appropriate steps to pursue our rights under the law,” he said.
In response to the ruling, the Dakota Energy Corporation, the parent company of the Dakota pipeline, said it would “seek to immediately cease the use of eminent domain and seek all remedies consistent with the law.”
“We have long recognized that the United States’ obligations under the federal laws governing Indian Country, tribal lands and water resources are paramount, and our actions have been carefully measured,” the statement read.
“We intend to move quickly to resolve the issues that are in dispute, and we will continue to pursue all options to ensure our customers are not left without any option to obtain relief.”
The Standing Rock Tribe’s lawsuit against Army Corps officials also targets a report that says the pipeline could contribute to the health of Standing Rock, the Sioux Reservation.
“This is the first time we have had to challenge this issue, but we are confident that it will be the last,” Dakota Pipeline Co. spokesperson Mike Oltman told the AP.
This case is just one of several ongoing legal fights over the Dakota-Dakota pipeline.
A federal judge last month denied the tribe a preliminary injunction against the Dakota oil pipeline, which would have prevented construction of the pipeline through the Missouri River, after the tribe asked the judge to consider whether the pipeline violates the Indian and Northern Treaty rights of the Sioux and Sioux tribal members.
In response, the Army’s Civil Works Division filed a notice of appeal to the U: The Corps of Engineer has not yet responded to our appeal of the Corps of Civil Engineers Order to Stipulate and Order the Stipulation for the Stoppage of the Pipeline.
The Corps has not filed a Motion to Stay or an Order of Stay.
The Standing Stock Tribe will seek to have the case heard by a district court judge to determine whether the Standing Wall Sioux Tribe’s claims of “state action” and “state sovereign interest” in the pipeline are appropriate, the court filings say.
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