The Wisconsin Gazette

The Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance filed suit in U.S. District Court in Great Falls, Montana, challenging the presidential permit issued by Donald Trump allowing construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Stephan Volker, attorney for IEN and NCRA, filed the suit this week, alleging the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement fails to:

• provide a detailed and independent project purpose and need;

• analyze all reasonable alternatives to the project;

• study the project’s transboundary effects;

• disclose and fully analyze many of the project’s adverse environmental impacts;

• formulate adequate mitigation measures;

• respond adequately to comments.

Also, the complaint said the FSEIS was irredeemably tainted because it was prepared by Environmental Resource Management, a company with a substantial conflict of interest.

The suit also alleges that Trump’s permit violates the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

“President Trump is breaking established environmental laws and treaties in his efforts to force through the  Keystone XL Pipeline, that would bring carbon-intensive, toxic, and corrosive crude oil from the Canadian tar sands, but we are filing suit to fight back,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Indigenous peoples’ lands and waters are not here to be America’s environmental sacrifice zone.”

He continued, “For too long, the U.S. government has pushed around Indigenous peoples and undervalued our inherent rights, sovereignty, culture and our responsibilities as guardians of Mother Earth and all life, while fueling catastrophic extreme weather and climate change with an addiction to fossil fuels. The time has come to keep fossil fuels in the ground and shut down risky extreme energy projects like the tar sands that are poisoning our families, wildlife, water sources and destroying our climate.”

Frank Egger, president of The North Coast Rivers Alliance, said in a news release issued March 30: “Oil, water and fish do not mix. KXL poses an unacceptable risk to the Missouri River and its fisheries, including the nearly extinct Arctic grayling. No oil pipeline is safe. One major oil spill, and the Missouri River and adjacent aquifers would be polluted for generations.”