The Latest: Flood risk greatly reduced in protest camp area

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2017 11:51 AM
The Latest: Flood risk greatly reduced in protest camp area

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

10:50 a.m.

The latest spring flood outlook from the National Weather Service shows a greatly reduced chance of flooding in the area where Dakota Access pipeline opponents camped for months in North Dakota.

The flood risk had been a concern because of hundreds of tons of trash and debris protesters left behind in the now-closed camp. Authorities feared that floodwaters could wash the mess into nearby rivers.

Authorities closed the camp last week and launched a major cleanup effort. The Morton County Sheriff's Office says about 95 percent of the mess has been removed. Some soil remediation work might still be necessary.

The flood outlook shows about an equal chance of minor flooding in the camp area, and almost no chance of moderate or major flooding through early June.

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9 a.m.

Two of the remaining three Dakota Access oil pipeline protest camps in southern North Dakota have shut down.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently told the Sacred Stone and Black Hoop camps on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that they were trespassing on tribal land.

BIA spokeswoman Nedra Darling says people have left the camps, largely without incident. The Cheyenne River Sioux tribe has leased private land nearby for a camp, but it's unclear how many people are there.

Authorities last week cleared out and shut down the main protest camp, which was on federal land just north of the reservation. That camp had at times housed thousands of people who often clashed with police. There were about 750 arrests in the region since August.

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8:20 a.m.

Prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena for a man ordered to testify about a violent late-November clash between police and Dakota Access pipeline protesters in which a woman suffered a serious arm injury.

But it's unclear whether a grand jury is still looking into the confrontation in which protesters unsuccessfully tried to push past a blocked bridge on a state highway near their main encampment in North Dakota.

U.S. Attorney Chris Myers has said he can't comment because grand jury proceedings are secret.

Forty-two-year-old Steve Martinez was ordered to testify in January. At the time, he said he would refuse to cooperate and was willing to go to jail.

His attorney, Ralph Hurvitz, says the subpoena was withdrawn Monday, two days before Martinez was to testify. No reason was given.