Tuesday’s move is another step in a more than two-and-a-half year court battle.
Tribal members, along with an organization called We Take Care of our Land, say the Bureau of Indian Affairs approved a lease for the L.N.G. project at Split Rock in 2005 without giving people in the community the right to an appeal.
A lawyer representing the group says the Bureau also ignored too many routine reviews and studies before making a decision in the case.
":Our clients are very anxious to get to the merits, because we think we have very strong arguments that the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not do the environmental review that they should have done before approving this lease.": Said Teresa Clemmer from the Environmental Law Clinic.
":To even imagine any industry like an L.N.G. would decimate my tribe.": Tribal member Madonna Soctomah told TV 5 Tuesday. ":We still speak our language and keep our traditions and that would be gone, it would totally be gone.":
Government lawyers won’t comment on the case. Judge John Woodcock has indicated he’d like the entire case to be resolved sooner, perhaps by the end of the year.