North Dakota Seeks Federal Aid For Pipeline Protest Costs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s governor is asking President Donald Trump for federal reimbursement of $38 million in state law enforcement bills related to months of protests over construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Gov. Doug Burgum emailed Trump on Saturday seeking a presidential disaster declaration to pave the way for federal aid. White House officials didn’t immediately comment Monday.

The North Dakota Legislature and Burgum recently approved borrowing money to pay protest-related costs, but that money will have to be repaid by state taxpayers.

Separately, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says a $1 trillion spending bill Congress is considering includes money for a Justice Department program that could help with North Dakota’s bills. But any reimbursement through the Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program is likely to make only a small dent.

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