Negotiations Break Down Over Closing of Dakota Access Protest Camp

Refuse remains in the Dakota Access pipeline opponents’ main protest camp as a fire burns in the background in southern North Dakota near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, as authorities prepare to shut down the camp in advance of spring flooding season. (AP Photo/Blake Nicholson)

Cleanup efforts at the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp are on hold after negotiations broke down between authorities and camp leaders.

Crews have been working to tidy up the camp since January. Contractors were brought in last week to boost those efforts because authorities feared the onset of spring flooding at the camp near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson says the delay Wednesday is unfortunate since time is running out.

Camp wellness director Johnny Aseron says it’s too muddy for trucks and other heavy equipment following winter rain and snow. Camp officials also took issue with plans by authorities to have armed police escort the equipment into the camp.

The Army Corps of Engineers has ordered the camp closed at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Source: Associated Press