Judge’s decision on Dakota Access study likely months away

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge’s decision on whether a year’s worth of additional study of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline adequately addresses American Indian concerns appears weeks if not months away.

The Army Corps of Engineers recently completed additional court-ordered study and said the work substantiated its earlier determination that the pipeline won’t adversely impact tribes.

But the Corps didn’t immediately release its lengthy analysis so it could be reviewed by federal regulators for sensitive information. That’s been done, and suing tribes and pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners now have it.

Judge James Boasberg has given the parties until Nov. 1 to submit proposals for how to proceed.

One tribal attorney expects Boasberg to give the tribes an opportunity to challenge the Corps analysis before he makes a final decision.

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