Date: February 8, 2017
Organization: Morton County
Contact: Morton County PIO (701) 595-3596 or (701) 426-1587
Mandan, N.D. –
SHERIFF KIRCHMEIER: Today's decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a step toward the closure necessary for pipeline construction. If protestors continue to take unlawful actions in response to the Corps’ decision, law enforcement will be forced to continue to put themselves in harm’s way to enforce the rule of law. Our hope is that the new administration in Washington will now provide North Dakota law enforcement the necessary resources to bring closure to the protests. This has never been about the pipeline or the protests. This has always been about the rule of law, protecting both residents and peaceful protestors from criminal elements that have significantly harmed people and property – all with very little assistance from the federal government in the last administration.
COMMISSIONER SCHULZ: The last administration in Washington decided against granting an easement to DAPL even through the career experts at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommended approval and a federal court denied a request to stop it. And they refused to give North Dakota law enforcement the much needed resources to deal with professional protestors who have assaulted police officers, bullied residents, killed livestock, and angered the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for treating their land with disrespect. But today’s decision from the Corps shows that this new administration will not politically meddle in a thorough review of a project that will have an enormous positive effect on the economy and public safety in our area. With professional protestors continuing to engage in criminal activities, we have new hope that we didn’t have before: an administration that will help law enforcement provide public safety for the citizens of Morton County instead of turning their backs on them.