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Purdon, United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota I. TRIBAL COMMUNITIES IN THE DISTRICT OF NORTH DAKOTA North Dakota was admitted to the United States of America in 1889 and covers 68,994 square miles. The 2010 Census reports that North Dakota has a population of over 672,591. The District of North Dakota encompasses the entire state of North Dakota. According to the 2010 Census, North Dakota has approximately 36,500 people (5.4 percent of the population) who consider themselves Native American. Lowering the Bar: “Bill Would Provide Immunity for Accidentally Running Over Protesters” Here.

Lowering the Bar: “Bill Would Provide Immunity for Accidentally Running Over Protesters”

An excerpt: Seems doubtful this would be constitutional if it were to pass (and no one else quoted in the report seemed too enthused about it). By his own admission, the bill is a response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and so (although the language itself is neutral) it is arguably a content- or even viewpoint-based restriction because the intent is to deter a certain kind of speech. If so, it would be subject to strict scrutiny and almost certainly struck down. Pipeline Expert: Government Underestimated Risk of an Oil Spill from Dakota Access Pipeline. Standing Rock, ND — An independent expert hired by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has found that the government’s environmental assessment of the pipeline’s environmental impact was inadequate.

Pipeline Expert: Government Underestimated Risk of an Oil Spill from Dakota Access Pipeline

With this new information, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reassess its conclusion that the pipeline crossing will not affect tribal members. The Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit on July 27, 2016, against the U.S.

The Dakota Access Pipeline

Army Corps of Engineers for violating the National Historic Preservation Act and other laws, after the agency issued final permits for a massive crude oil pipeline stretching from North Dakota to Illinois. The complaint, filed in federal court in Washington D.C., says the Corps effectively wrote off the Tribe’s concerns and ignored the pipeline’s impacts to sacred sites and culturally important landscapes. Earthjustice. Photo President Obama has pointed a way out of a dangerous standoff over an oil pipeline being built in North Dakota.


He told an interviewer on Tuesday that the Army Corps of Engineers was looking for a new pipeline route, presumably away from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, whose members and allies have been protesting the project for months, saying it threatens the tribe’s sacred lands and water supply. It was a welcome hint of good news in an intensely bitter confrontation that came wrapped in historic injustice and seemed destined to end in grief. DRC files suit to protect North Dakota's anti-corporate farming law - WORC. Dakota Resource Council (DRC) filed an intervening motion today to protect North Dakota’s 80-year old anti-corporate farming law, joining the North Dakota Farmers Union, which filed a request to intervene on Oct. 12.

DRC files suit to protect North Dakota's anti-corporate farming law - WORC

DRC’s intent is to uphold the voice of North Dakotans, who voted overwhelmingly to reject corporate farming this June by a 3-1 margin. Standing Rock Demonstrators File Class-Action Lawsuit Over Police Violence. Pipeline demonstrators injured by rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and water cannons during a wintry nighttime standoff with police last week filed a class-action lawsuit Monday against the sheriff of the North Dakota county involved.

Standing Rock Demonstrators File Class-Action Lawsuit Over Police Violence

The suit describes in new detail the evening of November 20, when more than 200 people protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline were injured by “less-than-lethal” weapons. The lawsuit alleges that sheriff’s deputies and police officers used excessive force when they deployed impact munitions, like rubber bullets, as well as explosive tear gas grenades and water cannons against protesters.

It argues that the tactics were retaliatory, punishing those involved for exercising free speech rights. It also argues that officers were inadequately trained to handle the situation, naming Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, Mandan Police Chief Jason Ziegler, and Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Keiser as defendants. Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s protest camp hit by snow and legal storms. Posted on: November 29, 2016 3:37 PM Photo Credit: Morton County Sheriff’s Department [Episcopal News Service, by Mary Frances Schjonberg] The US-based Episcopal Church’s solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation remains resolute after nine days of emotional events in the ongoing effort to protect the tribe’s land and water supply.

Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s protest camp hit by snow and legal storms

Lawyer's View: Recent Days at Standing Rock. Anishinabek Nation members sing as they entered the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on September 7, 2016.

Lawyer's View: Recent Days at Standing Rock

The group traveled from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, to join protests against an oil pipeline project that would cross land near the Standing Rock reservation and plunge under a dammed section of the Missouri River. (Alyssa Schukar / The New York Times) I am a civil rights lawyer, just back from my second stay at the Standing Rock Camp where I am part of the Camp's legal team -- the Red Owl Collective assembled by the National Lawyers Guild. We are pro bono attorneys and legal workers seeking to maintain a regular presence in the camp. Included among us is long-time (Wounded Knee) defender of Native Americans, Bruce Ellison. Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters – National Lawyers Guild.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 28, 2016 Contact: Tasha Moro, NLG Communications Director: | 212-679-5100, ext. 15 CANNON BALL, ND —Today, the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC-formerly Red Owl), an initiative of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), filed suit in US District Court against Morton County, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirschmeier, and other law enforcement agencies for using excessive force against peaceful Water Protectors on the night of November 20, 2016.

Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters – National Lawyers Guild

Dakota pipeline operator goes to court after government delays construction. The operator of the Dakota Access pipeline has asked a federal judge to approve immediate construction under the Missouri river just one day after the US government delayed the oil project that has faced international opposition from indigenous groups and environmental activists. Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the $3.7bn pipeline, accused President Barack Obama’s administration of being “motivated purely by politics” and said it would “vigorously pursue its legal rights” to build under the river that provides the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s water supply.

“Dakota Access Pipeline has waited long enough to complete this pipeline,” CEO Kelcy Warren said in a statement. “It is time for the Courts to end this political interference and remove whatever legal cloud that may exist over the right-of-way beneath federal land at Lake Oahe.” “I’m 100% sure that the pipeline will be approved by a Trump administration,” Warren told NBC News on Saturday. Grand Jury Resistance at Standing Rock. By It’s Going Down, December 9, 2016 On or around December 3rd, 2016 a water protector at Oceti Sakowin received a summons to appear before a federal grand jury that has been convened in relation to the resistance of water protectors. What we know about grand juries is that they have a long history of being used to target those in resistance to the state and engaged in political or revolutionary movements. The purpose of this grand jury and all grand juries that target revolutionary people and communities is to cause division, manufacture prisoners of war, create paranoia and suspicion amongst comrades.

Opinion: Dakota Access Pipeline purchaser looking like Enron. Regulation: Enbridge cited Minnesota regulators as a problem. In contrast, there is scant regulation in North Dakota. That is painfully obvious. There are more lawsuits about oil drilling than active rigs in the Bakken (last year brought a record-setting 9,305 civil cases on oil, according to the Star Tribune). Not surprisingly, Dakota Access received quick approvals, and is only being challenged by tribal governments in North Dakota, with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filing a preliminary injunction Aug. 4.

$15K fine proposed for Dakota Access. Pipeline construction is complete on both sides of the Lake Oahe crossing, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not yet authorized, Dakota Access said Tuesday, Nov. 8. The Public Service Commission voted Tuesday to issue a formal complaint to Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, that alleges the company violated conditions of the permit, including rerouting the pipeline without clearance from the commission.

Dakota Access discovered four stone cairns and other artifacts in the pipeline route in Morton County on Oct. 17 and notified the State Historic Preservation Office, which evaluated the site and concurred with the reroute to protect the sites. The Public Service Commission learned about the unanticipated discovery and the reroute on Oct. 25 from the agency’s third-party inspector, then requested information from Dakota Access, which was received on Oct. 27. The company will have 20 days after receiving the complaint to respond. STANDING ROCK SIOUX TRIBE v. UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. Drones involved in two pipeline protest criminal cases. One man is charged with stalking after he used a drone to photograph private security workers and another man is charged with felony reckless endangerment for allegedly flying a drone near a North Dakota Highway Patrol aircraft. Meanwhile, the use of drones and other surveillance tactics by the pipeline company and law enforcement are being questioned by attorneys representing the pipeline resistance camp.

Open records requests filed recently by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild seek to find out what surveillance methods have been used by law enforcement and whether any of it has been unconstitutional. "It's a very tricky area, drone use, and we are very concerned about law enforcement and government use of drones," said Jennifer Cook, policy director for the ACLU of North Dakota. In Morton County, prosecutors charged Myron C. Attempted murder charge filed in connection with protest. Red Fawn Fallis, 37, also was charged with preventing arrest, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana, criminal conspiracy to commit endangering by fire, maintaining a public nuisance and engaging in a riot. She faces up to 20 years in prison for the attempted murder charge and more than 12 years combined for the other charges if convicted.

PHMSA Broadly Interprets Its Construction Oversight Authority. The authority of the U.S. Drones involved in two pipeline protest criminal cases. First Water Protector Trials Set for January as Another ND Pipeline Leaks. Morton County, ND – On Monday, December 19th, water protectors charged with disorderly conduct stemming from their August 11th arrests made their first appearances in Morton County court. The results of the appearances was Judge Cynthia Feland granting a continuance till January 31st, 2017. Indigenous Land Buy-Back Implementation Schedule. About 243,000 landowners hold nearly three million fractional interests across Indian Country. Warrants issued for Democracy Now! reporter, Red Warrior Camp protester for criminal trespass at Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. MORTON COUNTY, N.D. - A Democracy Now!

KING: Masked white men harass indigenous people in North Dakota. Pipeline protesters target N.D. police for excessive force. A class action lawsuit has accused Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and other North Dakota law enforcement agencies of using excessive force during a Dakota Access pipeline protest where a Bronx woman nearly lost her arm. The National Lawyers Guild claims at least nine plaintiffs suffered from injuries, such as seizures, facial burns, broken bones, bruising and eye damage during a violent clash last week.

And more risked hypothermia when police blasted protesters with a water cannon during the Backwater Bridge melee on Nov. 20. Last week’s clash sparked an injunction request filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Bismarck demanding law enforcement stop using excessive force tactics, such as sound cannons, tear gas grenades and rubber bullets, for crowd control near the protest encampment. NDDOT Right Of Way Training. First Water Protector Trials Set for January as Another ND Pipeline Leaks. Dakota Pipeline Was Approved by Army Corps Over Objections of Three Federal Agencies. Expert Investigation Reveals Government and Energy Transfer Partners Covered Up Dangers Of DAPL. Supporters of the Dakota Access Pipeline insist that the project is safe and that it is not a threat to the water supply of millions of people.

However, pipelines, in general, are dangerous projects, with ruptures occurring around the world on a near daily basis. There is also evidence that the Dakota Access Pipeline is even more dangerous than typical pipeline projects, because it is slated to run under a river that millions of people depend on for drinking water, and the pipeline is also in the direct path of a landslide zone, which could cause obvious and disastrous complications. The US Amry Corps of Engineers is the government organization responsible for assessing the safety of the land to determine whether the project will be a threat, and so far, all of their reports have indicated that the pipeline will be safe. Yankton Sioux Tribe Sues US Army Corps, USFWS Over Dakota Access. DAPL is Just the Beginning — Federal Bill Seeks Largest Native American Land Grab in 100 Years. By Matt Agorist Three years ago, Utah Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz came up with a proposal called the Utah Public Lands Initiative.

Nate Bishop – Harvard Environmental Law Review. 'Pipelines Leak': Expert Finds Government Downplayed DAPL Impact on Tribe and Water. Onshore Oil & Gas Operations; Federal, Indian Oil & Gas Leases; Measurement of Oil. [Federal Register] News. Procedures to Address Threatened and Endangered Species and Historic Properties, ONG Minor NSR FIP, May 9, 2016. Dakota Access asks judge to end 'political interference' $15K fine proposed for Dakota Access. SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Companies Face Continuing Challenges in Determining Whether Their Conflict Minerals Benefit Armed Groups. 12.08.16 Morton County Commission Meeting Agenda [Dundon v Kirschmeier] Obama Administration Violates Judicial Independence in Dakota Pipeline Case. Laws of the United States relating to the improvement of rivers and harbors. Mineral Royalties Hearing: Data Reliability is a Major Risk Factor. Natural Resources, Commercial Law - Attorney Blog. Brownsfield-An Underused Part of North Dakota's Environmental Law - Attorney Blog.

Surface Mgt Right of Way Page. 6/29/16 ND Industrial Commission pipeline rules, EFFECTIVE 1/1/17 If Approved. 12.10.16 Grand Jury Probe Targets Standing Rock Water Protectors. North Dakota Century Code Title 29. Judicial Procedure, Criminal. Omaha District > Missions > Regulatory Program. North Dakota Petroleum Council. Uncovered Emails Raise Suspicions of Oil Company Paying Police for DAPL Crackdown. Security Firm Guarding Dakota Pipeline Used Psychological Warfare Tactics for BP. This Natural Disaster Assistance Law Is Why Other States Are Policing Dakota Access Pipeline Protests. Standing Rock protesters hold out against extraordinary police violence.

FCC Investigates Stingray Spies While DAPL Works in Secret at Standing Rock. The not-so-secret history of the U.S. military’s elite Joint Special Operations Command. Obama administration expands elite military unit’s powers to hunt foreign fighters globally. Police at Standing Rock Are Using Life-Threatening Crowd-Control Weapons to Crack Down on Water Protectors. Into hostile territory.