ND Attorney General says purchase of land on Cannon Ball Ranch by Dakota Access, LLC compliant with corporate farming laws

Published: Nov. 22, 2016 at 4:58 PM CST
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North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has completed the initial review of the land purchased in Morton County by Dakota Access, LLC for compliance with the state's corporate farming laws.

Stenehjem has concluded that Dakota Access is not in violation of the laws.

Dakota Access says the land purchase allows the company to better manage entry and exit from their pipeline construction sites and protect those who are lawfully there, in light of past and continued protest events at the sites.

Stenehjem's review determined that the land purchased is temporarily necessary for commercial development, the siting of facilities and other industrial purposes and, therefore, meets the corporate farming law industrial and business purpose exception.

For an interim period, Dakota Access has entered into a tolling agreement that preserves the right of the state to file a lawsuit, if necessary, at any time in the future to enforce corporate farming laws if the company no longer meets the requirements of an exception under the laws.

The agreement suspends the running of any applicable statute of limitations for a mutually-agreed amount of time. For the duration of the period, Dakota Access waives the right to use a statute of limitations as a legal defense.

Stenehjem will continue to review and closely monitor how Dakota Access uses the land and regularly assess Dakota Access's compliance with corporate farming laws.