A federal judge has moved the date of a pipeline hearing that would decide whether a preliminary injunction should be issued to keep protestors from interfering with the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland scheduled the hearing that was to be this Thursday to September 8 and extended the temporary restraining order against the protestors that the developers requested in court earlier this month.
Hovland encouraged in his court order filed Monday that the two groups should meet and attempt to work out their differences outside of the courtroom first.
The controversial Dakota Access pipeline project has been under scrutiny for months by environmentalists, landowners, tribal groups, and other communities. Several protest groups have tried to halt construction, resulting in multiple protestors’ arrests for trespassing and other interference, including allegedly putting the developers’ safety at risk.
Developers of the line have agreed to stop construction until court matters are resolved.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.8 billion project that will move crude oil 1,172 miles from the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Illinois. It will carry approximately 470,000 barrels per day with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day.
Energy Transfer is over seeing construction, and Sunoco Logistics will operate the line once it is completed. Enbridge Energy Partners and Marathon Petroleum Corporation collectively purchased a $2 billion share of the project, and Phillips 66 owns 25 percent of the project.