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North Dakota Governor Doug Borgum seeks federal reimbursement as a potential means of recovering the $38-million cost of policing and cleaning up after protestors who demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline for months, according to a new article by Forbes.
“All options are on the table,” according to Mike Nowatski, a spokesman from Borgum’s office. “The governor’s office has been in discussions with both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and White House officials to emphasize the state’s position that federal reimbursement is warranted.”
Greenpeace – one of the several environmental groups that were present at the camps and raised millions in donations from around the world at the height of protests’ media coverage – said it was not responsible for the clean-up, charging Energy Transfer Partners and the consortium of companies that built the pipeline with the job instead.
“Any environmental concerns sit at the feet of the pipeline decision-makers,” group spokesperson Perry Wheeler said in an email.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, one of the main tribes that organized the dissenting movement against the $3.8 billion DAPL, expressed his condemnation of the way environmental protestors managed federal lands to VICE News.
“We’re no different than the oil company, if we’re fighting for water,” Archambault said. “What’s going to happen when people leave? Who has to clean it up? Who has to refurbish it? It’s going to be us, the people who live here.”
He continued: “Before this entire movement started, that was some of the most beautiful land around. There was a place down there where eagles, over 100 eagles would come and land. There were game down there — deer, pheasants, elk, geese. Now, it’s occupied by people. And when masses of people come to one place, we don’t take care of it.”
The camps housing protestors from across the nation were located on the flood plain, meaning any waste that remains will likely be carried by the rain into the Cannonball River, contaminating local water resources as spring emerges.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…