Obama Administration Will Temporarily Halt Construction of North Dakota Pipeline

Federal authorities said Friday they will temporarily halt construction of a controversial oil pipeline near a lake regarded as sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux, heading off an immediate confrontation in a tense standoff in North Dakota that has drawn hundreds of tribes from across the country.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moved to suspend further construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Lake Oahe along the Missouri River, even though a federal judge on Friday rebuffed the tribe’s request to order the halt.

People gather at an encampment to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Sept. 3, 2016. (Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

People gather at an encampment to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Sept. 3, 2016. (Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

“Construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two other federal departments said in a statement shortly after U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg’s ruling in Washington, D.C.

Federal officials said they also would be asking the company building the pipeline to voluntarily pause all construction within 20 miles of the lake pending a thorough review of the permits, which they pledged would be conducted “expeditiously.”

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