North Dakota lawmaker seeks DAPL reimbursement through AG action
BISMARCK — A North Dakota lawmaker has drafted a proposal that seeks to make sure the federal government will pay the state for costs associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
The proposal from Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, would allow the attorney general to file a lien against any federal property in North Dakota, except for tribal land, in order to ensure reimbursement. Kempenich will seek to add the amendment to the budget bill for the Attorney General's Office in the waning days of the legislative session.
As of Wednesday, April 5, the state's costs for the law enforcement response to the monthslong protests adjacent to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, as well as cleanup bills, exceeded $34 million, according to Department of Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong.
"It's frustrating," Kempenich said. "I think we have to look for solutions to force the issue."