Construction halted on the Dakota Access oil pipeline after massive protests

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Protesters stand on heavy machinery after halting work on the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen
A modified highway sign reads 'No Pipeline' near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to cross the nearby Missouri River, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Native Americans ride with raised fists to a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline slated to cross the nearby Missouri River, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
People on horses are seen at the encampment September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Phil Little Thunder Sr attends an evening gathering at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Boys enjoy a later afternoon horseback ride at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The Missouri River is seen beyond an encampment September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
People sign a teepee with words of support for protestors at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River nearby, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Nantinki Young of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, the head cook supervising all the kitchens poses for a photograph at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 3, 2016. The Indian reservation in North Dakota is the site of the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than 100 years. Indigenous people from across the US are living in camps on the Standing Rock reservation as they protest the construction of the new oil pipeline which they fear will destroy their water supply. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Evan Butcher of the Chippewa Tribe plays basketball with younger boys September 4, 2016 at the encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that is slated to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by LaDonna Allard, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, second from right, participates in an oil pipeline protest, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 in Morton County, N.D. North Dakota authorities plan to pursue charges against Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for spray-painting construction equipment at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said Tuesday that the charges would be for trespassing and vandalism. (LaDonna Allard via AP)
Jon Don Ilone Reed, an Army veteran and member of South Dakota's Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, poses for a photo at an oil pipeline protest near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in southern North Dakota, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. Reed said he fought in Iraq and is now fighting "fighting for our children and our water." (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
In this Aug. 26, 2016, photo, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II poses for a photo near Cannon Ball., N.D., on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation overlooking an encampment where Native Americans from across North America have gathered to join his tribe's growing protest against a $3.8 billion four-state oil pipeline. About 30 people, including Archambault himself, have been arrested in recent weeks for interfering with construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
Joye Braun, an organizer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline opposition, poses for a photo at a protest near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in southern North Dakota on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. Braun has been at the protest site since April and has vowed to remain until the project is killed. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
Wambli Johnson poses for photo at an oil pipeline protest near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in southern North Dakota on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The 11-year-old donated $150 to protest organizers that she earned by selling homemade laundry soap at northern Arizona's Black Mesa, on the Navajo Nation. ( AP Photo/James MacPherson)
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Following violent clashes between protesters and security forces, Texas-based oil pipeline company Dakota Access, LLC agreed to pause production on the Dakota Access Pipeline until Friday, following weeks of protests, the Huffington Post reported.

The nearly1,200-mile-long pipeline route, which would cross through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois if completed, disturbs sacred tribal land, according to Standing Rock Sioux tribe leaders.

On Tuesday, U.S. Judge James Boasberg granted a partial and temporary restraining order against Dakota Access, the company in partnership with massive Texas gas company Energy Transfer Partners. Boasberg said he'd have a decision on the injunction by Friday, but in the meantime, the tribes requested a construction halt on the $3.8 billion crude oil delivery system in areas with "significant cultural and historic value." In other words, it's a request that the company doesn't dig up any more land in sacred sites until the judge has his official decision.

Tuesday's in-court announcement of a brief halt is just the latest in a string of protest actions, restraining orders and construction reprieves. In August, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe sued the federal government over the project after tribal leaders said the tribes were not properly consulted prior to construction.

A 400-odd person protest in mid-August left 16 members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in handcuffs, including tribal leader David Archambault II. Days beforehand, Energy Transfer Partners filed a lawsuit for restraining orders against protesters — which U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland granted.

Over Labor Day weekend, a security firm hired to protect Dakota Access construction workers used pepper spray and dogs to combat protesters who said the construction not only affects sacred land, but also threatens to contaminate the nearby Missouri River.

Source: YouTube

By Friday, Dakota Access and concerned tribes will know whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that approved the pipeline project in July, will withdraw permits for the project, or if Boasberg will allow construction to proceed. Until then, the Corps of Engineers said in a court document Sunday, that "the public interest would be served by preserving peace."

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