The Yankton Sioux Tribe in southern South Dakota has sued federal regulators for approving permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline that will move oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
The tribe filed the lawsuit Thursday against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which issued permits for the project. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also a defendant.
The lawsuit, which asks that the Corps-issued permits be vacated, says the pipeline’s route passes through the tribe’s treaty lands. It says construction activities in that area will “destroy sites of enormous cultural importance,” causing “injury” to the tribe on a cultural, spiritual and historical level.
The Corps did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday evening.
The lawsuit was filed ahead of a federal judge’s impending ruling on a request by the Standing Rock Sioux to stop the four-state pipeline.
Also ahead of the ruling, Gov. Jack Dalrymple is activating the North Dakota National Guard on a request by the Standing Rock Sioux to stop the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Dalrymple says a handful of Guard members will help provide security at traffic checkpoints near the site of a large protest.
Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, the head of the Guard, says another 100 Guard members will be on standby if needed to respond to any incidents.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is expected to rule by Friday on the tribe’s request to temporarily stop construction on the Dakota Access pipeline.
The tribe has been leading a protest for weeks at a site where the route passes near its reservation near the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The protest has included tense confrontations at times, and violence broke out Saturday between private security guards and protesters.