Release no. 20161109-001
Omaha District Public Affairs
"The Corps of Engineers is concerned for the safety of all the people involved with the continued demonstrations occurring in and around Corps-managed federal public lands in the State of North Dakota. In an effort to defuse these tensions, which have led to confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement personnel, we asked Dakota Access Pipeline on November 4th to honor the Administration's request for a voluntary shut down by stopping work for a 30-day period to allow for de-escalation. Dakota Access did not agree to this request.
Concurrently, in an extended meeting with Tribal leadership from multiple Missouri River Basin Tribes at Fort Yates, ND last week, we all agreed to proactively exercise the leadership necessary to defuse tensions between demonstrators and law enforcement. We also agreed to work to provide a winter camp location near the town of Cannon Ball, ND. The location is inside the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Reservation Boundary where they have the resources and jurisdiction to provide better protection, security, and emergency response for their supporters.
Our assessment is, after having visited these areas in ND on multiple occasions, there are a lot of individuals who have been brought together and now find themselves under difficult conditions. We will continue to work to ensure the safety of all involved. We are concerned over recent statements from DAPL regarding our request to voluntarily stop work, which are intended to diffuse tensions surrounding their operations near Corps-managed federal land until we have a clear path forward.
After meeting with key leaders in the State of North Dakota, we are confident that they share our commitment to diffusing tensions and maintaining public safety. We again ask DAPL to voluntarily cease operations in this area as their absence will help reduce these tensions. Finally, we want to thank all the Tribal leaders who met with us last week and have fully committed to the preservation of life and safety by strongly encouraging their supporters to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights and provide a safe and sustainable winter camp inside the reservation."
JOHN W. HENDERSON, P.E.