Environmentalist activists left behind enough trash and debris at the Dakota Access Pipeline campsites to fill hundreds of dumpsters, government officials said Tuesday.
Army Corps of Engineers officials say about 240 dumpsters towed out of the anti-DAPL opponent’s main campsite. Each of the dumpsters is chocked full of debris of old food stores, tents, building materials and abandoned personal belongings.
Officials estimate they’ll need another 240 loads or so to clean out the remaining section of the ramshackle campsites, most of which dot the parameter of the highly publicized and discussed DAPL route.
The Army Corps is doing a cultural survey to see if any of the tepees require separate handling and consultation. Hazmat crews are there to supervise the handling of human waste and other chemicals.
Standing Rock Sioux, one of the tribes opposing the multi-billion-dollar pipeline, is lending a hand, hiring subcontractors to help clear the campsite.
“The mud is killing us,” said Logan Thompson, who is helping clear the area. “I’m hoping if it stays cold like this, by Monday we could be done.”
A spokesman for North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, said the North Dakota Highway Patrol can assist in removing any blockades placed on public roadways.
Energy Transfer Partners, the company developing the DAPL, expect the pipeline to be completed by early March. The project will shuttle more than 500,000 barrels of Bakken oil from the Dakotas to Eastern Illinois.
The tribes fighting the pipeline do not appear phased by the pipeline’s progress.
One of the tribes opposing the DAPL, in fact, is now suing President Donald Trump in a desperate attempt to prevent the highly contested oil project from being completed.
The lawsuit, filed at the U.S. District Court, calls on the federal government to immediately halt construction on the DAPL, a multi-state pipeline the Oceti Sakowin say could poison their drinking water and trample their ceremonial grounds.
Trump approved the pipeline’s construction after the Obama administration rejected the project in December, arguing the Army Corps needed to conduct a more thorough examination of the line’s route, which is slated to run under Lake Oahe, a waterway Standing Rock uses for its water supply.
The Cheyenne River and Standing Rock filed similar claims last week arguing that Trump violated federal law by denying proper review of environmental and religious rights issues surrounding the $3.8 billion line.
Judge James Boasberg, who is scheduled to hear Oceti’s case, ruled on Feb. 12 that as long as oil isn’t flowing through the pipeline, there is no imminent harm to the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes.
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