Feds want lawsuit over pipeline protest police costs dropped

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The federal government says it should not have to reimburse North Dakota for the $38 million the state spent policing protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The Army Corps of Engineers filed a motion Tuesday asking a federal judge to dismiss the state's lawsuit seeking to recoup the costs. The Corps says the state had the authority and responsibility to enforce the law on federal land.

Thousands of opponents of the $3.8 billion pipeline that's been moving North Dakota oil to Illinois for two years gathered in southern North Dakota in 2016 and early 2017, camping on federal land and often clashing with police.

The state argues the Corps allowed protesters to illegally camp without a permit on federal land and failed to maintain law and order.