N.D. still on the hook for DAPL protest costs

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The Trump administration may have denied a reimbursement request for law enforcement at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, but there are other options.

Gov. Doug Burgum requested a major disaster declaration from the president, which would have made the state eligible to receive funds from FEMA.

North Dakota tax dollars being spent are close to $38 million for the cost of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

Governor Doug Burgum's request for reimbursement from the Federal Government was denied.

"They came back and they told us that our need fell within the parameters of the Stafford Act," said Greg Wilz, Director Dept. of Homeland Security.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier responded to the denial with a statement saying They have requested federal assistance multiple times, "another denial is not surprising, but it is disheartening,"

State officials thought the request to President Donald Trump was a long shot but they sent it anyway.

"We felt we owed it to all the citizens of the state of North Dakota, they've got a lot of money tied up into this thing in terms of their tax dollars. So we're going to make every effort we can to secure some of those funds back if not all," said WIlz.

Other options include applying for $13.85 million dollars through , the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program

"I anticipate we'll get about $8-10 million dollars and I'll continue to work on other reimbursement as well," said Sen. John Hoeven, R, N.D.

And, sending a demand letter to the Army Corp of Engineers for the $1-2 million for the cost of cleaning the camp site.

Another option, taking up Energy Transfer Partners offer to cover the costs.

"Energy Transfer Partners largely came in and caused this havoc in North Dakota, not per se for anything more than trying to get their pipeline built," said WIlz.

While some could see that as a bribe, officials think differently.

"Well after the fact and full disclosed, at the end of the day I think tax payers deserve their money back," said WIlz.

The request to FEMA and President Trump was made April 30 and denied 18 days later. A spokesperson for Governor Burgum said no press release was issued at that time because the state wasn't hopeful it would receive any reimbursement from that avenue.