Truthdig Editor’s note: The federal government has approved a new pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), after seven years of protests stopped the Keystone XL oil pipeline from being built across a large part of the United States. The $3.8 billion DAPL project is designed to transport crude oil over 1,100 miles, starting in the Bakken/Three Forks area of North Dakota and traveling through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is leading a protest of Native Americans and their allies against the construction of DAPL, which could contaminate the Missouri River and lead to other devastating environmental impacts.
Opposition to DAPL has intensified since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its approval July 26. Over this past weekend, more than 15 people were arrested, including Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault.
The Standing Rock Sioux have requested a preliminary injunction to halt construction, and the injunction hearing is scheduled for federal court in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 24. Dakota Access filed a lawsuit against the protesters in federal court Monday. Developers halted construction of the DAPL pipeline Tuesday, and law enforcement and tribal leaders met to discuss a peaceful resolution to the protest. Construction is expected to resume.