5 arrested in North Dakota protest over Bakken pipeline

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By Caroline Grueskin, Bismark Tribune

MANDAN, N.D. — Five people were arrested Thursday morning during protests against the Dakota Access interstate oil pipeline south of a community near Bismark, N.D.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said the protesters were not staying within bounds set by law enforcement and getting in the way of surveyors working on the pipeline.

Kirchmeier said two of the five were arrested on charges of trespassing on private property.

“We are working with local law enforcement on this situation to ensure the safety of our employees and the safety of those who live and work in the area. To that end, we will press charges against anyone who interferes in the construction of the pipeline. Construction on the Dakota Access pipeline will continue across all four states along the route,” the developers of the pipeline said in an emailed statement.

The 1,168-mile pipeline will go from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, through South Dakota and 18 counties in Iowa and end at a distribution hub in Illinois.

About 40 people remained protesting Thursday afternoon along Highway 1806 near Mandan.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been protesting the pipeline over the past several months, raising concerns that a leak would contaminate the Missouri River.

In Iowa, authorities were investigating three incidents where heavy equipment being used to build the pipeline was scorched by fire. No arrests have been announced in those cases.

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