BNSF Loses Bid to Keep Hauling Shale Oil Across Tribal Land

March 4, 2020, 8:49 PM

BNSF Railway Co.'s shipments of crude oil across tribal land in Washington state violated a right-of-way and easement agreement, a federal appeals court ruled.

BNSF lost its argument that the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act repealed the Indian Right of Way Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and said the tribe was entitled to pursue injunctive relief to enforce its easement agreement with the rail company.

The case was the first to try whether a tribe can exclude a railroad over violating an easement agreement. American Indian advocates saw ...

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