The Latest: Authorities won’t use force to remove protesters




BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline (all times local):

6 p.m.

Authorities say no action will be taken to enforce North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple's emergency evacuation order for protesters of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Dalrymple signed the order Monday for protesters who are camping on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land. Dalrymple cited "harsh winter conditions," and his order said the unpermitted camp sites are not zoned for suitable housing.

Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong told The Associated Press that authorities will not be using law enforcement or the National Guard to enforce the governor's order.

Earlier, the Corps ordered the protesters to leave federal law but said it has no plans to forcibly remove anyone. Hundreds of people have been gathered at the encampment for months to oppose the four-state, $3.8 billion project, which they contend could affect drinking water and damage cultural sites.

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5:30 p.m.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple is ordering an emergency evacuation of Dakota Access pipeline protesters who are camping on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land.

The Republican governor signed the order Monday because of what he calls "harsh winter conditions." The order didn't say what action would be taken for protesters who don't comply, and a spokesman for Dalrymple didn't immediately respond to calls and an email from The Associated Press.

The governor's order says the unpermitted camp sites are not zoned for housing suitable for living in winter conditions.

Hundreds of people have been gathered at the encampment for months to oppose the four-state, $3.8 billion project, which they contend could affect drinking water and damage cultural sites. The Corps has ordered the protesters to leave federal land, but the Corps says it has no plans to forcibly remove anyone.

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2:10 p.m.

A government order for protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline to leave federal land could have little immediate effect on the encampment where hundreds of people have been gathered for months to oppose the $3.8 billion project.

A North Dakota sheriff says the deadline is meaningless and serves only to reduce the government's legal responsibility for demonstrators.

The Corps says all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed for "safety concerns" starting Dec. 5. The order includes the large encampment known as the Seven Council Fires camp.

The agency cited the approach of winter and increasingly contentious clashes between protesters and police.

But the Corps says it has no plans to forcibly remove anyone. Violators could be prosecuted for trespassing.
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