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Will construction of DAPL continue?

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World Pipelines,

Will construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) be completed? This question is certainly something to consider, what with this week’s inauguration of Donald Trump, who reportedly backs the project.

Doug Burgum took office as North Dakota’s governor last month. The new governor told Reuters that he thinks the controversial DAPL will only be delayed by the US Army Corps of Engineers’ decision over the pipeline. He believes that the incoming US President, Donald Trump, will grant the easement that the pipeline requires.

He commented: “I expect the world's going to change dramatically on that day relative to finding resolution on this issue. I would expect that [Energy Transfer Partners, DAPL’s parent company] will get its easement and it will go through."

While Standing Rock Sioux’s Chairman Dave Archambault has requested that non-native protesters to return home since the next stage must be played out in court, Burgum has asked protesters to clean up their camp before the spring floods come. He stated: "We've got a potential ecological disaster if this land floods and all the debris flows downstream into tribal lands."

While the Army Corps denied a necessary permit and recommended an environmental impact statement (EIS), in a video message released just 24 hrs after taking office, according to EcoWatch, Burgum criticised the Obama Administration for "politically [stalling] a legally permitted project that had already been through an exhaustive review process and has twice been upheld by the federal courts.”

In the video, Burgum added: “I support the legal completion of this pipeline. Make no mistake, this infrastructure is good for our economy. And it's the safest way to transport North Dakota products. Failure to finish it would send a chilling signal to those in any industry who wish invest in our state and play by the rules.”


DAPL court filings

As cited by Yahoo News and The Bismarck Tribune, on 13 January, the Associated Press reported that in recent court filings, police officials accused opponents of the DAPL of threatening police last year. According to the report, the claims have prompted additional security in the state of North Dakota.

In November 2016, DAPL protestors began a lawsuit, accusing law enforcement officials of using excessive force during a clash at a blockaded bridge on 20 November. The protestors maintain that they have been mistreated by North Dakota’s police and in the lawsuit, they allege that over 200 protesters were injured in the bridge clash, where officials used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons in freezing temperatures to disperse the opponents.

In this lawsuit, the police have claimed that during the bridge clash, protestors assaulted officers with rocks and burning logs. While they have not yet filed a response, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, County Commissioner Cody Schulz and state Bureau of Criminal Investigation Criminal Intelligence Analyst Cody Larson have all filed affidavits supporting a request to anonymise the names of law officers from public court documents for their safety.

According to the Associated Press: “Kirchmeier has said in documents that he and his family had been threatened through social media, telephone, email and letters, and that personal information such as his home address ‘have been published on the internet with invitations to commit violence against me or to kill me.”

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