State launches new website aimed at streamlining communication on significant issues affecting North Dakotans

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Just one day after President Trump signed an executive order to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline, Governor Burgum took questions about it at a news conference set up for a different purpose.

The conference was called to launch a new website to streamline communications for issues with significant public impact in the state. One of those issues is the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Governor Doug Burgum says he wants to change the way the state is being portrayed for its role in the pipeline controversy.

"When you have a prolonged, global, negative media, which is sometimes not accurate, filled with some of the myths that are iterated here, it has a downward negative effect," said Burgum.

Wednesday, Burgum launched a website to help streamline communication from state agencies. One of its main focuses immediately is the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Burgum and Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault are in agreement that people at the protest camps need to leave.

"If they want to come and camp on federal property without a permit in a flood zone, we have an issue with that because that just enhances our life safety that we have," said Burgum.

"Our tribal council, they are still standing behind the request that the membership of the Cannon Ball community made, and the decision of the Standing Rock Sioux membership, their decision on Friday, asking people to leave," said Chairman Dave Archambault.

Archambault says he wants to communicate directly with the White House on this issue.

"I've been asking just to have a discussion to educate why this EIS is the right decision that the Corps of Engineers and the Army made prior to the order," said Archambault.

Until then Burgum says the state's outlook will not change: it will continue to protect the right of free speech of protesters and the legal rights of the company.

Burgum says he is glad the decision regarding the pipeline was back in the hands of the Army Corps of Engineers and the court system.