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Old News: In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 11 May 2018 09:18:11 Z)

Did the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in a court case about the approval for the Dakota Access pipeline? No, that news is old and was copy pasted from a 2017 news article. A Vietnamese site claiming to be about Native Amerian affairs has simply recycled the story to gin up clicks and advertising revenue.

The most recent copy of the article was published on May 5, 2018 by http://vi.nguoivietnamchau.info under the headline "In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law" (archived here) which opened:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe's drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline.

A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects.

In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, "the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline's effects are likely to be highly controversial."

The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week.

Screenshot of http://vi.nguoivietnamchau.info/victory-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-court-finds-approval-dakota-access-pipeline-violated-law/

But the article was originally published on June 14, 2017:

In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe's drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline. A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects.

Since then the story has been copy pasted and published as "recent" news several times by various websites.

News reports at the time of the ruling mentioned that the pipeline did not need to be shut down right away, just that more studies had to be done that were done too fast or not well enough:

Boasberg ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers, the body responsible for evaluating and issuing permits for the pipeline, "did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline's effects are likely to be highly controversial."

However, Boasberg acknowledged that the corps had "substantially complied" with federal environmental laws.

Further hearings to determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off will begin June 21.

"Whether Dakota Access must cease pipeline operations presents a separate question of the appropriate remedy, which will be the subject of further briefing," Boasberg said in his ruling.

As far as we've been able to ascertain those studies and the legal actions around them are still ongoing in April 2018:

Tribes' Request for More Say in Dakota Access Pipeline Study Denied

BLAKE NICHOLSON, Associated Press Created: April 18, 2018 12:03 PM BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A judge has rejected the request by two American Indian tribes to be more involved in a court-ordered environmental review of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

For some reason news about the Standing Rock reservation and Native American affairs in general have become a favorite niche of foreign-run Facebook pages and websites. If you see a news report about these topics pop up in your newsfeed, always check if you are looking at an original source before liking, sharing or commenting: it could be you are looking at old news being repackaged and fed back into your news stream by some guy in Macedonia or Kosovo wanting to make a few quick bucks:

"Native American" Facebook pages that push fake news are actually run out of Kosovo

UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, all of the Facebook pages identified by Media Matters have been taken down. Multiple Facebook pages are pretending to represent Native Americans and are pushing fake news stories. These pages, which have at least 1.1 million followers combined, are apparently linked to multiple fake news websites based in Kosovo.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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