N.D. seeks $14M after pipeline protests
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota is continuing to seek federal funding to help pay state law enforcement bills related to months of protests over construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, despite being rejected on its first attempt.
The state has applied for nearly $14 million in funding from a Justice Department program that helps pay costs related to law enforcement emergencies around the country.
The state in late June applied to the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program, according to U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. The North Dakota Democrat sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday, urging his agency to “expeditiously review and approve” the state’s request. A decision is expected by the end of September.
The $3.8 billion pipeline built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners began moving oil from North Dakota to a distribution point in Illinois in June. The project is still being contested in federal court by American Indian tribes who fear a leak could endanger their water supply, and protests from August to February resulted in a largescale police response and 761 arrests.
Gov. Doug Burgum in late April asked President Donald Trump for a disaster declaration to pave the way for federal aid to help recoup the $38 million spent by the state policing the protests and spare taxpayers the expense. The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the request in May.