Burgum welcomes federal funding for DAPL costs, seeks presidential disaster declaration

Monday, May 1, 2017 - 4:30pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum welcomed news Monday that North Dakota will receive up to $15 million in federal funding to partially reimburse the state for costs resulting from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Department of Justice’s budget – part of the larger government funding bill awaiting approval from Congress – includes $15 million for emergency law enforcement events that occurred during fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The state must apply for the funding.

In a separate request for reimbursement, Gov. Burgum sent the White House a letter Saturday seeking a presidential major disaster declaration to cover costs incurred as a result of responding to the DAPL protests.

“We are deeply grateful to Sen. Hoeven for his work on securing this funding, and we thank our entire congressional delegation for their continued efforts in seeking federal reimbursement,” Burgum said. “We’re committed to pursuing all avenues available to hold the federal government responsible and ensure that North Dakota taxpayers alone don’t bear the enormous costs of law enforcement and other resources expended on the protests.”

In his request for a presidential disaster declaration, the governor noted that the prolonged situation spanned 233 days, cost more than $37 million and was complicated by political interference from the previous White House administration. The letter, sent to President Trump on Saturday, states that significant federal responsibility exists for the start and continuation of the protest, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to enforce its regulations and maintain law and order on its property.