Federal Judge Brian Morris

Sierra Club

The United States Supreme Court has refused to reinstate water crossing permits for the Keystone XL pipeline. That decision puts construction on hold until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a thorough environmental impact study of the pipeline project.

A Sierra Club lawyer says the Corps should have done that assessment years ago.

Victoria Wicks has more of the story for SDPB.

A Montana federal court order that vacated water crossing permits for oil and gas pipelines will stand for now. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request from the Trump administration, TC Energy, and other energy companies to lift the judge's order pending appeal.

As a result, the Keystone XL pipeline is not permitted to cross 688 bodies of water on its route through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, at least until the appeal has played out.

A Montana judge's decision to vacate water permits for the Keystone XL pipeline still stands for now. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an immediate administrative stay pending appeal of the Montana ruling. But the appeals court has agreed to expedite the issue.

Preconstruction of the Keystone XL pipeline had already started when Montana Federal Judge Brian Morris put a stop to water crossings. He ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the Endangered Species Act by not adequately considering potential harm to listed species or habitat.

Montana Federal Court

Last month a Montana federal judge shook up the infrastructure industry when he vacated a widely used U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit. This month the judge amended his order to rein in its reach. Now Nationwide Permit 12, or NWP 12, can be used for installation of non-pipeline projects such as cable, electric, and internet. But the judge left in place an injunction against using the permit for building oil and gas pipelines. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Sierra Club

A Montana federal judge has invalidated a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

In an order handed down Wednesday, April 15, Judge Brian Morris says a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bypassed necessary environmental reviews.

The order says TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, cannot build across waterways along the pipeline route until the Corps does more work on the permit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

TransCanada and the Trump administration have renewed their request to dismiss Montana lawsuits against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Parties filed briefs late in the day on Friday, Jan. 24.

Both proponents and opponents of the pipeline restated positions already on record in December, when Montana Federal Judge Brian Morris denied dismissal of the lawsuits and asked for further briefing.

Morris asked parties to clarify several issues, including whether the president has authority to issue a permit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

NARF staff photo

TC Energy has reported to a Montana federal court that it intends to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline next month.

Trenching won't begin until April. But in February and March, the company plans to move heavy equipment to sites for worker camps, pump stations, pipe yards, and the first crossing at the U.S.-Canada border.

An attorney for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says TC is jumping the gun.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

C-Span

A federal judge in Montana has denied requests from President Donald Trump and other federal agencies to dismiss lawsuits against them for permitting the Keystone XL pipeline.

The actions were filed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Indigenous Environmental Network, and North Coast Rivers Alliance.

Judge Brian Morris issued his ruling just before Christmas. He says, in part, that it's up to Congress, not just presidents, to regulate commerce with foreign nations. And he says it's up to the courts to figure it out.

A federal judge in Montana has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two tribes against President Donald Trump.

The suit claims the president's unilateral permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline in early 2019 violated treaties and the U.S. Constitution.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Fort Belknap Indian Community say federal agencies have a duty to consult government-to-government with tribes.

In South Dakota, during water management hearings, a Rosebud official outlines the inadequacy of tribal involvement to date.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Montana Federal Court

A federal judge in Montana has handed tribes and environmentalists a pair of partial victories in their fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

Judge Brian Morris has denied requests for dismissal of suits against President Donald Trump, the U.S. State Department, and other federal agencies.

The actions were filed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Indigenous Environmental Network, and North Coast Rivers Alliance, et al.

Victoria Wicks

Climate activist Greta Thunberg attracted a large crowd to Rapid City's Memorial Park on Monday, Oct. 7. Part of the focus was stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

At that same time, environmental and federal lawyers were preparing for a hearing in Montana that happens on Wednesday, Oct. 9. There a federal judge will consider placing an injunction on construction of the pipeline.

One of the rally organizers talks about the importance of the Montana hearing with SDPB's Victoria Wicks.