N.D. seeks $14M af­ter pipe­line protests

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSI­NESS & FARM - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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