North Dakota sues Army Corps of Engineers over DAPL protests

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the state will sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to recover $38 million in costs related to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

Stenehjem says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refuses to respond to North Dakota’s requests and demands for money. He added he's had no contact with them on this issue since August 2016.

Stenehjem says now the Corps will be forced to respond within 60 days. The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Bismarck.

Stenehjem says the Corps of Engineers failed to enforce laws, which would have minimized unlawful conduct and damage to the environment, which cost the state tax payers $38 million.

North Dakota’s congressional delegation tried to get the Corps to sit down to make a deal, but they have not responded.

The $38 million is broken down by the AG's office, including $12 million that North Dakota paid other states that sent law enforcement and more than $9 million in payroll and travel costs.

Stenehjem added that the claim is based in sound law and believes we have a good chance of meeting with the Corps and hearing why they did “nothing.”

The state used a loan from the Bank of North Dakota to cover the costs. The Department of Justice gave the state $10 million in 2017. Dakota Access LLC donated $15 million in 2018. The $25 million, according to the Attorney General's office, was used to pay down the loan. That balance sits around $13.3 million

To read the complaint, go to: https://attorneygeneral.nd.gov/sites/ag/files/documents/MediaAttachments/2019-07-18-DAPL-Complaint.pdf