MANDAN, N.D. - Dakota Access removed about 30 pieces of heavy machinery from a work site in Morton County Tuesday morning.
Pipeline protesters have accomplished their goal by stopping construction on one Morton County site, but Energy Transfer Partners, Dakota Access's parent company, say they remain committed to the project.
Pipeline workers at a pipeline site south of Mandan weren't met with protesters. Instead, police provided security as the employees loaded up heavy machinery and drove it away.
"It just makes sense that we have law enforcement presence in the area to help with removal of equipment, making sure that we're keeping the roadway safe," says Tom Iverson, ND Highway Patrol Lieutenant.
You might remember this as the same site where two people, a man and a woman, chained themselves to pieces of heavy machinery and some people actually grafittied them. One of those people includes Green Party Candidate for President Jill Stein, who was charged in the incident.
"The company has a lot of damaged equipment that they need to either do something with it. It cannot just be sitting out in the fields. It's just going to go to waste," says Iverson.
While the equipment is on the move, Dakota Access is not giving up on the project. In a statement, Kelcy Warren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, of Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline's parent company, says:
"We intend to meet with officials in Washington to understand their position and reiterate our commitment to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline into operation."
Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault responded in a statement, saying:
"Our fight isn't over until there is permanent protection of our people and resources from the pipeline."
No demonstrators showed up during the removal process, and police say they didn't run into any traffic issues relating to it.
The full statements for both Energy Transfer Partners and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are attached to this article.