The U.S. government paused construction work at part of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Friday pending a review by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Interior and the Department of the Army halted construction of the pipeline on Army Corps of Engineers land bordering or under Lake Oahe.

Lake Oahe straddles the border between North Dakota and South Dakota.

Construction will be paused until the Army Corps can “determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act or other federal laws.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that claimed the Army Corps violated environmental and historic preservation laws when it approved the project.

The federal agencies’ decision to pause construction was released just minutes after a U.S. federal court declined to halt construction work on the $3.7 billion project.

U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg declined to pause construction at a portion of the pipeline after finding the tribe did not adequately show that work related to the project is “likely to cause damage.”

The Department of the Army said on Friday that construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.

“The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution,” the Department of the Army said in the joint statement.

The federal agencies have requested that Energy Transfer, the pipeline’s operator, pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.

Energy Transfer has not commented on the request.

The Dakota Access project has drawn criticism from Native American and environmentalist groups who claim the pipeline could harm water quality and disturb sacred sites.

Late last month, more than two dozen people were arrested across two states while protesting the project.

An arrest warrant was issued for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate last week after the pair spray-painted construction equipment at a protest site in North Dakota.

The Dakota Access Project will stretch 1,172 miles and will connect Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.

The 470,000 barrel per day pipeline is currently expected to be online in late 2016.


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