Feds move in to clean Dakota pipeline camp

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION -

The U.S. Army Corps of En­gi­neers has moved into the evac­u­ated Dakota Ac­cess pipeline protest camp to fin­ish the cleanup started weeks ago by the Stand­ing Rock Sioux Tribe.

A Florida-based com­pany has been hired to pro­vide trash re­moval and en­vi­ron­men­tal cleanup in the main Oceti Sakowin camp on the north side of the Can­non­ball River and the smaller Rose­bud camp on the south side. Both are on fed­eral land.

Au­thor­i­ties this week cleared the last hold­outs from the camp near the Stand­ing Rock Reser­va­tion, which strad­dles the North Dakota and South Dakota border. Thou­sands of peo­ple stayed there be­fore the area was buried in winter bl­iz­zards.

Corps of­fi­cials say about 240 dump­sters have been hauled out of the main camp, each brim­ming with de­bris of old food stores, struc­tures, tents, build­ing ma­te­ri­als and aban­doned per­sonal be­long­ings.

The corps and the tribe are do­ing a cul­tural sur­vey to see if any spe­cial items, such as teepees, re­quire sep­a­rate han­dling and con­sul­ta­tion. The con­tract also in­cluded a spe­cial en­vi­ron­men­tal crew to deal with any po­ten­tially haz­ardous or toxic ma­te­ri­als.

Tribal con­trac­tors were help­ing to clear the Rose­bud site, in­clud­ing Lo­gan Thomp­son, who brought skid steers, load­ers and a crew of 10. “I’m hop­ing if it stays cold like this, by Mon­day we could be done,” he said.

Many pro­test­ers moved into other camps on the reser­va­tion. Tribal of­fi­cials, along with the Bureau of In­dian Af­fairs, are mov­ing to clear those camps and may get help from the state.

A spokesman for North Dakota Gov. Doug Bur­gum said the of­fice sup­ports Stand­ing Rock’s ef­forts, but there are no def­i­nite plans to de­ploy any state re­sources. He said the North Dakota High­way Pa­trol can as­sist on pub­lic road­ways, but us­ing the Na­tional Guard re­quires an of­fi­cial re­quest from ei­ther Sioux County or the Bureau of In­dian Af­fairs.

ANDY MATSKO/REPUB­LI­CAN-HER­ALD VIA AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Street department em­ployee Josh Barn­hart, left, and street department su­per­vi­sor Tom Whi­taker un­clog drains on a street in Pottsville, Pa., af­ter heavy rains moved through the area.

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