North Dakota governor orders emergency evacuation of DAPL protesters
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has issued an executive order for protesters to evacuate a campsite near the Dakota Access Pipeline. Concerns of harsh winter and lack of sanitation were cited as reasons for protesters to leave and not return.
Citing “safety concerns and the potential danger to human life for those camping on federal property without proper shelter during harsh winter conditions,” Governor Dalrymple (R) ordered an emergency evacuation of campsites housing protesters demonstrating against the North Dakota Access Pipeline on Monday.
"Winter conditions have the potential to endanger human life, especially when they are exposed to these conditions without proper shelter, dwellings, or sanitation for prolonged periods of time," the executive order said.
Jeff Zent, a spokesman for the governor, claimed that the state does not plan to remove anyone from the site, telling reporters: “We’re not going to go in and make arrests and forcibly remove everybody that’s on that site,” but, “We fully expect the federal government to take the lead on the management of their property.”
In addition, the statement by the governor also claimed: “The unpermitted camp sites are not zoned for dwellings suitable for living in winter conditions and do not provide proper sanitation infrastructure to sustain a living environment consistent with proper public health.”
The news comes as central North Dakota faces a winter storm warning, which includes eight to 13 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The warning is set to stay in place until Wednesday evening.