Hoeven Again Pushes Corps to Issue Easement, Provide Timeline for Resolution

WASHINGTON -- Senator John Hoeven Monday again urged Assistant Secretary of the Army of Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers, to issue a final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and put an end to violent protests in North Dakota.

Darcy indicated the Corps would issue a timeline for the Dakota Access Pipeline by the end of the week outlining when a decision will be made on the Missouri River crossing. She also said the Corps’ Northwest Division Chief Brigadier General Scott Spellmon and Omaha District Commander John Henderson plan to meet with state, local and federal law enforcement officials this week in North Dakota to develop a plan on how to deal with protesters who refuse to leave restricted Corps land by December 5th.

“In light of violent protests over the past few months, people living and working in the area need to feel safe in their homes and on public roads,” Hoeven said. “They also deserve the certainty of knowing when the Obama Administration and the Corps will resolve this situation so life can get back to normal. We will continue to call on the Corps and the Obama administration to approve the easement, which we believe will bring this troublesome issue to an end.”

Area residents have seen incidents of trespassing, vandalism, theft and fire on privately owned land. Unlawful protesters have created severe challenges caused by roads being blocked or closed either by protest activity or law enforcement’s responses to ensure public safety

Law enforcement has also seen cases of butchered, mutilated, injured and missing cattle, horses and bison in areas adjacent to sites occupied by protesters. There have been reports of protesters following law enforcement to where they live and improvising explosive devices from gas camp stove canisters. These cases illustrate fears and safety risk that may exist for residents, ranchers and their livestock.