The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is demanding that the Obama administration grant an easement for the construction of the Dakota Pipeline, a controversial oil pipeline that would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
The tribe’s request comes in a new lawsuit filed Friday by the group Earthjustice that is challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to deny an easter for the Dakota.
The Standing Rock tribe is the nation’s largest indigenous people, with nearly 2 million members who live on tribal lands in North Dakota and South Dakota.
The tribe also owns and operates the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota, which is about 70 miles north of the Cannonball River.
The lawsuit is part of a broader lawsuit against the U.”s Department of Energy and the Obama Administration seeking to overturn its decision to grant the easement.
The Army Corps denied the easter, arguing that the tribe’s water use and environmental concerns outweighed any economic benefits, according to the filing.
The U. is not required to grant easements to oil pipeline companies in the U., but the Corps has been trying to do so.
The Department of Interior issued a final rule on Monday that will make it easier for tribes to obtain easements.