North Dakota seeks federal money for pipeline protest costs

Published 07-20-2018

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota is demanding $38 million from the federal government to reimburse the state for costs associated with policing large-scale and prolonged protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed an administrative claim Friday against the Army Corps of Engineers, contending the federal agency allowed protesters to illegally camp for months on federal land in southern North Dakota.

Stenehjem says if the claim isn't paid or settled in six months, the state will sue in federal court.

Corps officials have said the protesters weren't evicted due to free speech reasons.

The protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline resulted in 761 arrests from August 2016 to February 2017.

The pipeline began moving oil a year ago, but four American Indian tribes are still fighting it in court.

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