WASHINGTON (UPI) — A federal appeals court rejected a request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Sunday, though construction may not start anytime soon.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled Sunday that Energy Transfer Partners can move forward on construction of the pipeline, however, three federal agencies still need to clear the project before anything can get built.
The $3.7 billion, 1,170-mile pipeline has been highly controversial because it crosses sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, drawing thousands who have protested with the Native American tribes near the proposed path of the pipeline.
The decision will allow construction to restart on parts of the pipeline located on privately owned land up to the Missouri River.
The court has yet to rule on the tribe’s appeal of a September ruling not to shut down construction on the entire pipeline.
The U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of the Interior also said in September it would not authorize construction of the pipeline on land owned by the Army Corp of Engineers, including near Lake Oahe in North Dakota where the tribe is attempting to prevent construction.