RELIGION

Judge to hear arguments on Dakota Access pipeline work

  • This June 20, 2012, photo provided by ALM shows U.S. District Judge James "Jeb" Boasberg in Washington, D.C. Boasberg is overseeing a lawsuit filed by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux, two Dakotas tribes who maintain the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to carry North Dakota oil to Illinois threatens their drinking water and cultural sites. (Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM via AP)

    This June 20, 2012, photo provided by ALM shows U.S. District Judge James "Jeb" Boasberg in Washington, D.C. Boasberg is overseeing a lawsuit filed by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux, two Dakotas tribes who maintain the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to carry North Dakota oil to Illinois threatens their drinking water and cultural sites. (Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Razor wire and concrete barriers protect access to the Dakota Access pipeline drilling site Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The developer says construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under a North Dakota reservoir has begun and that the full pipeline should be operational within three months. One of two tribes who say the pipeline threatens their water supply on Thursday filed a legal challenge asking a court to block construction while an earlier lawsuit against the pipeline proceeds. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

    Razor wire and concrete barriers protect access to the Dakota Access pipeline drilling site Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The developer says construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under a North Dakota reservoir has begun and that the full pipeline should be operational within three months. One of two tribes who say the pipeline threatens their water supply on Thursday filed a legal challenge asking a court to block construction while an earlier lawsuit against the pipeline proceeds. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Trash is seen piled in a dumpster at an encampment set up near Cannon Ball, N.D., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, for opponents against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Opponents have called for protests around the world Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, as the Army prepared to green-light the final stage of the $3.8 billion project's construction. The Army said Tuesday, Feb. 7, that it will allow the four-state pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, the last big chunk of construction. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

    Trash is seen piled in a dumpster at an encampment set up near Cannon Ball, N.D., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, for opponents against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Opponents have called for protests around the world Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, as the Army prepared to green-light the final stage of the $3.8 billion project's construction. The Army said Tuesday, Feb. 7, that it will allow the four-state pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, the last big chunk of construction. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)  (The Associated Press)

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., is hearing arguments on whether to stop work on the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline until a legal battle with American Indian tribes is resolved.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux argue the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites. The tribes also say it threatens their freedom of religion, which depends on pure water.

Developer Energy Transfer Partners last week received final approval from the Army to lay pipe under the Missouri River in North Dakota — the final chunk of construction for the 1,200-mile pipeline to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

Work is underway. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is to hear arguments this afternoon on whether it should be stopped while the lawsuit plays out.