A federal judge ruled Tuesday for construction to stop in some areas of the Dakota Access pipeline but denied the temporary restraining order the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had requested.
The denial "puts my people's sacred places at further risk of ruin and desecration,” said the tribe’s chairman David Archambault II, who added it “does not prevent DAPL from destroying our sacred sites as we await a ruling on our original motion to stop construction.”
Archambault II requested an end to construction on a 2-mile strip to prevent further destruction of cultural sites.
Tuesday's decision does not apply to construction west of Lake Oahe, which includes the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and was based on the argument that the Army Corps of Engineers did not have jurisdiction over private land. The Corps agreed with the pause in construction for "preserving peace."
In a statement, Archambault II, said that on Sunday pipeline workers "brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites."
The tribal leader also filed a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners, which have already won a temporary restraining order against illegal protests.
The tribe is also challenging the legality of the construction permit in court, which the judge will rule on Friday. Archambault II argues that the Corps granted the permit illegally because it did not consult the tribe or respect treaties that protect sacred lands.
The pipeline would snake through Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, crossing sacred burial and ceremonial sites. Between 1,000 and 2,500 protesters have come from across the country to prevent construction and what they say would be the contamination of the drinking water of millions of people downstream of the Missouri River.