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Army Corps opposes court ordering Dakota Access pipeline shutdown

NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would fight an order to shut the Dakota Access oil pipeline if a federal court judge rules in favor of Native American tribes seeking the line’s closure, according to court filings on Monday.

The Corps also said it planned to complete an environmental review of the 570,000-barrel-per-day Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) out of North Dakota in March 2022, when it will consider whether to issue a new permit for the line.

A U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia threw out a permit last year for DAPL to cross under the Dakotas’ Lake Oahe, a drinking-water source for Native American tribes, and ordered a review of the pipeline.

That judge is now considering whether to grant a request by Native tribes to require that the line cease flows and be emptied while the assessment is carried out.

The Army Corps, under the direction of President Joe Biden, told a hearing last month it had no immediate plans to force a DAPL closure. It did not say if it was opposed to the court ordering the line to shut.

DAPL’s operators intend to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review in the case, according to a filing last week. (Reporting by Laila Kearney and Devika Krishna Kumar in New York and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; ; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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