The Latest: Army Corps to close land where protesters camped

AP News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2017 9:02 PM
The Latest: Army Corps to close land where protesters camped

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the proposed four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline. (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say it will close federal property where Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters have camped beginning on Feb. 22 because of concerns about flooding.

In a statement on Friday, the Corps says there has been a record snowfall and long periods of frigid temperatures at the mouth of the Cannonball River where the protesters have been camped. There is a high potential of flooding from spring runoff and ice jams.

The Corps said it sent notices to the protesters saying that they risk possible injury or death if they stay. The notice added that debris, trash and untreated waste from the camp could pollute the river and Lake Oahe.

Opponents of the pipeline have been camped there to try to stop the completion of the pipeline.

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10:45 a.m.

An American Indian activist arrested along with 73 other Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents for allegedly trespassing on private land is now accused of inciting a riot.

Chase Iron Eyes could face up to five years in prison if convicted on the felony charge. He also faces a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.

Iron Eyes and the others were arrested Wednesday after setting up teepees on land that authorities say is owned by the pipeline developer. Protesters say they were peacefully assembling on land they believe rightfully belongs to American Indians.

Iron Eyes issued a recorded statement from jail late Thursday. He doesn't dispute his involvement but says he wasn't the leader of the effort and had no authority to stop it.

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10:30 a.m.

North Dakota regulators say evidence presented at a hearing will determine whether the developer of the four-state, $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline violated state rules regarding the reporting of Native American artifacts.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners last October diverted construction of the pipeline around Native American artifacts without running the plan by the Public Service Commission, which oversees pipelines. Commission staffers say that warrants a fine of at least $15,000, even though the artifacts weren't disturbed.

ETP maintains it didn't intentionally violate state rules and in late November asked for the case to be dismissed. The three-member Commission this week rejected the request and said the company must provide evidence at a hearing.

An administrative law judge will oversee the hearing, but the PSC will make the final decision.