The Army Corps of Engineers says it won't extend a deadline for Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents to vacate their encampment in North Dakota.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers said it won’t extend a Wednesday deadline for Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents to vacate their encampment on federal land in North Dakota.
The camp has existed since August and at times has housed thousands of people who supported the concerns of Sioux nations that the $3.8 billion pipeline to carry North Dakota oil through the Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois threatens the environment and sacred sites. Dallas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes those claims.
With flooding expected this spring, the Corps on Feb. 3 told the few hundred people remaining in camp that they must take their possessions and leave by 2 p.m. Wednesday.
- Background stories: Here's a primer on the pipeline project, including the key players on all sides, a brief history of broken treaty promises and a closer look at the courtroom battle. And here's what we're reading related to the controversy.
- March 28: What the completed Dakota Access pipeline means for key players.
- Feb. 23: Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp closed; 46 holdouts arrested.
- Feb. 22: Preparing to leave, Standing Rock protesters ceremonially burn camp.
- Feb. 13: Judge rejects tribes’ bid to halt Dakota Access Pipeline; feds plan to shut down protest camp.
- Feb. 1: Hundreds rally as the Seattle City Council considers divesting from Wells Fargo because of its role as a Dakota Access Pipeline lender.
- Jan. 24, 2017: Donald Trump signs executive orders advancing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe says it will push back.
- Dec. 4, 2016: Tribes celebrate as Corps rejects Dakota Access pipeline easement
- Nov. 21: Washington tribes urge that Obama stop, reroute Dakota Access Pipeline
- Nov. 12: Hundreds rally in Tacoma against Dakota Access Pipeline
- Live updates from from Seattle Times journalists on the scene Oct. 26, 27 and 28.
- Oct. 25: Tribes in Washington state call on President Obama to improve federal consultations over infrastructure projects
- Oct. 24: Citing treaty claim, protesters occupy land a rancher recently sold to pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners.
- See photos from the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
Camp leader Phyllis Young said rain Monday hampered that effort, and that Native Americans also took time out for traditional ceremonies related to the weather. Frozen ground also is making it difficult for people to remove tent stakes, she said.
Corps Capt. Ryan Hignight confirmed that people in camp sought an extension on the deadline to move. But he said the Corps is focused on people’s safety and on the environment.
Gov. Doug Burgum also listed Wednesday as the deadline in an evacuation order he issued last week. Spokesman Mike Nowatzki said Tuesday that the deadline hasn’t changed. He said arrests are possible if people refuse to leave.
A schedule for emptying the camp, released late Wednesday, calls for the first bus to arrive at 9 a.m. to take those willing to leave to a “transition center” in Bismarck to get a change of clothes, medical screening and hotel and bus vouchers.
The schedule’s entry for 2 p.m. says: “Certain individuals in the camps would like to experience a ceremonial arrest which will occur at this time.”
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This story has been corrected to show the governor’s first name is Doug.