An American Indian tribe in North Dakota on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court to expedite their decision on whether the construction of two pipelines underneath a Missouri River reservoir needs tribal permission.
The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, say they own mineral rights under Lake Sakakawea and have not been assured that the water would not be negatively impacted by the Sacagawea pipeline project.
The 70-mile, $125-million Sacagawea oil pipeline is complete, according to pipeline developer Paradigm Energy Partners, but the company needs to complete the $16.6 million gas pipeline by the first of November and are experiencing difficulties due to the delays.
The tribes first brought the appeal to court last month requesting that the line be halted, but the U.S. district court judge temporarily allowed the pipeline developers to continue construction saying that it received the proper permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the pipeline underneath the lake.
The pair of pipelines would run approximately 100 feet beneath Lake Sakakawea at the reservoir’s narrowest point and will use the “most environmentally responsible and safest method of river crossing,” according to the company’s project site.