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Judge: Treaties lack pipeline siting power

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An administrative law judge has ruled that tribal treaties don’t give the Chippewa Indians the right to decide where a crude oil pipeline should be located in northern Minnesota.

An environmental group says the Chippewa should have a say in the location of Enbridge Energy’s proposed pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota to Superior, Wis. According to Honor the Earth, the pipeline could harm the tribe’s right to fish, hunt and gather wild rice in ceded, off-reservation territory.

The Star Tribune says Judge Eric Lipman has ruled an 1855 treaty ceding Chippewa land in Minnesota to the U.S. government doesn’t forbid creating a new right of way on the land that was sold. Enbridge attorney Christine Brusven argued there is no precedent for the plaintiffs’ request.

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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