The Latest: State to help with pipeline protest camp cleanup

AP News
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Posted: Feb 15, 2017 7:16 PM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says the state is willing to help clean up a camp on federal land that's been home at times to thousands of Dakota Access pipeline opponents.

Officials fear the camp will soon flood and wash tons of debris into nearby waterways.

The Standing Rock Sioux began coordinating a cleanup in late January, but state officials say it isn't going fast enough. Burgum says the state could start lining up additional contractors as early as Thursday. He says who would pay the cost could be decided later.

The Army Corps of Engineers also plans to help with cleanup. The agency will shut down the camp Feb. 22. Burgum has issued an evacuation order to complement the Corps deadline. He says arresting people would be a last resort.

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3:05 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to help accelerate cleanup efforts at a North Dakota camp that has housed hundreds and sometimes thousands of Dakota Access pipeline opponents.

Officials fear the camp will soon flood due to warm weather and rapid snowmelt. They worry trash and debris left behind by thousands of people who have left might wash into and pollute nearby waterways.

Capt. Ryan Hignight says Corps officials and a contractor will travel to the site this week to assess the situation. Actual cleanup work won't happen until the area is deemed safe.

The agency said earlier this month it'll shut down the camp on federal land Feb. 22.

The Standing Rock Sioux began coordinating a cleanup in late January. State officials say it isn't going fast enough.