North Dakota

The Latest: Pipeline developer opposes halt to construction

The Latest on the four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline (all times local):

9:10 a.m.

The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline says a judge should reject a request by the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes to stop construction on the final stretch of the $3.8 billion project.

Energy Transfer Partners takes issue with the tribes' argument that the work threatens its religion, which depends on pure water. ETP says the claim is "exceedingly tardy" and "not construction-related."

The Cheyenne River tribe filed the request last week, after ETP got permission from the Army to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. That's the last big section that would need to be completed before the pipeline could carry North Dakota oil to Illinois.

The Standing Rock Sioux later joined the request.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, in Washington, D.C., is hearing arguments Monday afternoon.

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7:55 a.m.

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.