Judge temporarily halts construction of portion of North Dakota pipeline

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People sign a teepee with words of support for protestors at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

BISMARCK, N.D. – A judge ruled that work on a controversial pipeline in North Dakota will continue in certain areas, but will be temporarily halted in other spots.

The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa and into Illinois. The underground pipeline would transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day, which would be sent to markets and refineries in the Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast regions, according to Energy Transfer Crude Oil Co.

However, leaders with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe say they fear the pipeline will destroy sacred sites and contaminate drinking water.

A protest ensued after tribal leaders say the company and the Army Corp of Engineers did not follow proper procedures when dealing with their territory.

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that construction would temporarily stop on some of the pipeline.

The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says a federal judge’s decision to temporarily stop work on some, but not all, of a portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline puts his people’s sacred places “at further risk of ruin and desecration.”

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said Tuesday that work will temporarily stop between State Highway 1806 and 20 miles east of Lake Oahe, but that work will continue west of the highway.

The tribe requested the stoppage after a weekend confrontation between protesters and construction workers near Lake Oahe due to workers allegedly bulldozing sites that attorney Jan Hasselman said were “of great historic and cultural significance to the tribe.”

Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement that the tribe is disappointed that the judge’s decision doesn’t stop the destruction of sacred sites while the tribe waits for a different ruling.

Boasberg said he’ll issue a decision by the end of Friday on the tribe’s broader push that challenges federal regulators’ decision to grant permits.