Tag Archives: North Dakota

Delegation seeks settlement of Dakota Access protest costs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s congressional delegation is calling on President Donald Trump’s administration to address the state’s year-old request for $38 million to cover the cost of policing protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong sent a letter Thursday urging Attorney General William Barr and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to settle the state’s claim, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

North Dakota’s attorney general filed an administrative claim against the Army Corps of Engineers last year, accusing the agency of letting protesters illegally camp on federal land in North Dakota in 2016 and 2017. It also argued the Corps didn’t maintain law and order when thousands gathered to protest the $3.8 billion pipeline built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

The pipeline was designed to move North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.

The Corps inaction “required North Dakota to provide a sustained, large-scale public safety response to prevent deaths, and protect property and public safety, including that of the protesters,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem wrote in the funding request at the time.

The state delegation is now asking Barr and Shanahan to recognize the state’s public safety response during the prolonged and sometimes violent protests.

Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle declined to comment on the delegation’s letter. The Defense Department also didn’t immediately provide comment.

The delegates’ request came on the same day that a federal appeals court ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by environmental and Native American groups who sought to block construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Opponents of the $8 billion pipeline from Canada to the U.S. have threatened similar protests to those against the Dakota Access pipeline.

By Associated Press, June 12, 2019


Red Fawn Fallis Sentenced to 57 months in Federal prison

Red Fawn Fallis

Red Fawn Fallis has been sentenced for her role in a shooting incident during the Dakota Access pipeline protests.

According to media reports, Fallis, 39, was sentenced Wednesday to four years and nine months in federal prison.

Fallis, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, was accused of firing a handgun three times while resisting arrest on Oct. 27, 2016. No one was hurt.

She pleaded guilty Jan. 22 to civil disorder and illegal possession of a gun by a convicted felon. Prosecutors agreed to drop another weapons charge.

Prosecutors were recommending seven years in prison, though U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland could have gone as high as 15 years.

Fallis did not get credit for time served in a halfway house after she was arrested in January for violating her pretrial release agreement. Judge Hovland says he is recommending placement in Phoenix or Tucson, Ariz.

Fallis is also sentenced to three years of supervised probation after her release; including special conditions of drug and alcohol treatment and treatment for mental health issues.

The sentence can be appealed within 14 days of the judgement being signed.

Fallis’s arrest was one of 761 that authorities made during the height of the Dakota Access pipeline protests near Standing Rock, North Dakota in 2016 and 2017.

North Dakota’s Bill for Policing Pipeline Protest now at $39 Million

(Photo by Angus Mordant/Groundtruth)

North Dakota’s bill for policing protests of the Dakota Access pipeline continues to rise.

The North Dakota Emergency Commission is set to borrow an additional $5 million Monday to cover law enforcement costs. That will bring the total line of credit from the state-owned bank of North Dakota to $39 million.

State Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong says 11 states provided law enforcement help to North Dakota, and some bills are only now arriving.

The $3.8 billion pipeline built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners began moving oil from North Dakota to a distribution point in Illinois in June, after months of protests.

The Emergency Commission also is set to approve a $10 million federal grant to help pay state law enforcement bills related to the protests.

The Associated Press


Judge Asks Army Corps to Revisit Environmental Analysis of Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters march along the pipeline route during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in St. Anthony, N.D., on Monday. (Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

  • Staff | Reuters – Wed Jun 14, 2017

A federal judge on Wednesday said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not fully weigh the impacts of the Dakota Access pipeline and ordered it to reconsider sections of its environmental analysis.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington said that while the Army Corps substantially complied with the National Environmental Policy Act, it did not adequately consider the impacts of a possible oil spill on the fishing and hunting rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The tribe had sued the Army Corps over its approval of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

“To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court,” the judge said in a court order.

Operations of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s pipeline have not been suspended but will be considered later, the order said.

(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


N.D. Oil and Gas Division Questioned About Deleting Potentially Valuable Emails

BISMARCK, N.D. – An attorney for landowners in the Bakken found potentially valuable information in deleted folders at the state’s energy regulation agency.

Now he’s speaking out. ​

Derrick Braaten filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division to see how many emails they delete.

In a two-week period in early May last year, nearly 39,000 emails were in delete folders.

About 7,000 emails went through a three-step process of being deleted forever or purged.

Still, state officials say they did nothing wrong.

While spills are an unfortunate side-effect of oil development, some say oil companies aren’t doing their part to avoid as much damage as possible.

“They’re abusing the land. They’re abusing the right to be on that land and the ultimate person that’s going to pay for it is the landowner,” said Former Rep. Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall.

Representative Onstad’s email concerning a well pad’s construction was among those deleted. However, the Oil and Gas Division maintained the inspector’s notes on that site in the department’s records.

“Be it our internal servers, our well files, our case files, so it’s going to be retained in the agency. So, just because the email’s gone, doesn’t mean the information is gone,” said Alison Ritter, Oil and Gas Division.

Ritter says information is stored in a variety of places on the division’s servers.

“It is the most difficult agency in the state to work with on getting records and it’s a continual problem,” said Derrick Braaten, landowner’s attorney.

Braaten filed the open records request and found landowner complaints, dumpsite pictures and emails with industry leaders marked for deletion. He feared documents that could be valuable for his clients were ending up in the trash.

“It’s difficult to even frame a request for information to get that because in my opinion they make it intentionally difficult to get at those records,” said Braaten.

“We’re an open book. If you want to know something, or if you have a question or you want to request something, absolutely ask me and we’ll provide it to you,” said Ritter.

Braaten says the department should have more information readily available. He says the department should also be more forthcoming on where records can be found in the system.

KFYR-TV looked into several of the deleted emails, to see what records remained in the department, including one with pictures sent in that were deleted.

Ritter says the illegal dump site in the pictures wasn’t under Oil and Gas’s jurisdiction, so there are no inspector notes and agency didn’t keep the submitted pictures.

The inspector did, however, keep these pictures he took when he inspected the site.