FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2017 file photo shows the town of Cannon Ball, N.D., on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. The Native American tribe leading the fight against the Dakota Access oil pipeline said Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, an Army Corps of Engineers document shows the agency concluded the pipeline wouldn't unfairly affect tribes before it consulted them. The Standing Rock Sioux officials say the document bolsters the tribe's claim that the Corps disregarded a federal judge's order to seriously review the pipeline's potential impact on the Standing Rock Sioux and three other Dakotas-based tribes and to not treat the study as a "bureaucratic formality." (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

Tribes accuse Corps of withholding pipeline study records

March 02, 2019 - 9:52 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Tribes battling the Dakota Access oil pipeline in court are accusing the Army Corps of Engineers of withholding dozens of documents that could bolster their case that the pipeline could unfairly impact them.

Attorneys for the four Sioux tribes allege some records that are missing relate to the pipeline's crossing beneath the Missouri River, which the Dakotas tribes rely on for drinking water, fishing and religious practices.

The tribes are asking a federal judge to order the Corps to turn over the requested documents. The Justice Department declined comment on behalf of the Corps.

The records are related to a court-ordered Corps study on the pipeline's impacts on tribes. The Corps says it substantiated the agency's earlier determination that the pipeline doesn't unfairly impact minorities. The tribes are challenging that assertion.

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