BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the protest over construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (all times local):
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says in its response to a lawsuit over the Dakota Access pipeline that it followed proper procedure in evaluating permits for water crossings and did not violate any federal laws.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed the federal suit in July after the Corps granted permits at 200 crossings, including one in North Dakota that’s less than a mile upstream from the reservation. The tribe says the pipeline would impact drinking water and disturb sacred sites.
The Corps says in its response filed Tuesday that its process was not flawed, as the tribes have alleged, and it meets all the requirements of the Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The Corps says that neither the state nor the tribe have identified “cultural resources of significance” within the permit area.
A judge has scheduled a status hearing on the case for Nov. 10.
The director of a North Dakota special education program says teachers are scared to go to work at a town near the area where protesters have camped out against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Barry Chathams is the director of the Burleigh County Special Education unit in Bismarck. He says in a letter to state Superintendent Kirsten Baesler that one of his workers was shadowed by someone in a pickup truck for 15 minutes as she tried to drive to the Little Heart School in St. Anthony.
Chathams says employees have been instructed to return to Bismarck if they are harassed by protesters. He says it is making it difficult to provide special education services.
Morton County sheriff’s office spokesman Rob Keller says the department has received “off and on” reports of motorists being intimidated by protesters. He says authorities try to respond by “having the law enforcement presence.”
A protest camp spokesman has said the notion that protesters are harassing people is “not true.”
The leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is calling on President Barack Obama to take action against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Chairman David Archambault II says in a statement that Energy Transfer Partners has ignored the Obama administration’s request to voluntarily shut down work within 20 miles of Lake Oahe while the Army Corps of Engineers consider reforming how it plans infrastructure projects.
The Dallas-based company resumed construction Tuesday on private land in southern North Dakota for the $3.8 billion pipeline. That followed an appeals court ruling over the weekend that denied the tribe’s request for an emergency injunction. Work is still prohibited on corps land bordering and under the lake, which is a source of water for the tribe.
Archambault says Obama has the power “to change the fate” of 17 million people who stand to lose clean water, but the chairman does not specify what type of action.
Representatives from the White House and pipeline company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
North Dakota’s Agriculture Department has set up a hotline to try to help farmers and ranchers south of Bismarck-Mandan affected by protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says many producers need to finish seasonal work before winter sets in, and they’re having problems trying to find willing truck drivers and custom silage-chopping services.
Protesters say their activities are peaceful, but some producers in the area say they’ve been harassed.
Goehring says the free hotline is aimed at helping producers and those looking for work to connect with one another. The Farm/Ranch Emergency Assistance Hotline number is 701-425-8454.
Agriculture Department employees will answer calls weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Callers can leave messages on evenings and weekends. The service is free of charge.
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