Published: Wed, August 24, 2016
Business | By Max Garcia

Governor signs emergency declaration for pipeline protest

Governor signs emergency declaration for pipeline protest

Protesters have disrupted construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline that's created to carry North Dakota crude to IL.

Dionne Addison, 40, a Northern Arapaho Tribe member who came with family from Wyoming's Wind River Reservation, said she was a little concerned about her children's safety at the campsite.

Construction of the Dakotas Access Pipeline has been halted due to pending court cases.

Authorities in southern North Dakota say the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been contacted after a laser beam was aimed twice at an aircraft doing surveillance of an ongoing oil pipeline protest.

"None of our water comes from anywhere else - it's just all from the Missouri river", said Spud Medicine Horse, who is from the Standing Rock reservation and is half Lakota, half Cree.

She says it's not a matter of if the pipeline will fail, but when. Federal agencies, however, argue the Bakken avoids "critical habitat" and is safe. "As an operating principle, Dakota Access Pipeline is committed to working with individual landowners to make accommodations, minimize disruptions and achieve full restoration of impacted land".

On July 27, the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers for violating the National Historic Preservation Act as well as other laws. Dakota Access LLC temporarily stopped work at the site last week as protests ramped up, leading to 29 arrests for trespassing or disorderly conduct, but pipeline construction continues elsewhere along the four-state route.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued an emergency declaration Friday in response to the protest, which made additional state resources available to "manage public safety risks" associated with the protest, a news release said. "I believe it would benefit all sides if all the tribal leadership of the tribes involved. would recognize there's still opportunity to extract people from an unlawful protest and to do it in a peaceful, law-abiding way". The developers filed a lawsuit on August 15 requesting restraining orders and damages. The county has already deployed highway patrol, police, and private security and is expected to deploy more this weekend.

According to the Bismarck Tribune, tribal members from across the country joined protesters, bringing their ranks to the thousands.

"The Strong Heart Warrior Society condemns these traffic checkpoints and any interference of the rights of way of Lakota persons from traveling across their traditional lands for any goal".

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