State officials say the Oceti Sakowin protest camp onn the Cannonball River south of Mandan has finally been cleared.
The deadline for protesters to leave the camp was Wednesday at 2 pm – but a number of people stayed. Thursday morning, law enforcement officers told those remaining to disperse and head south to avoid arrest. Some complied – but 46 were arrested.
“We’re feel very good about the fact that now we can have full access to continue the clean-up work we’ve been initiating the last couple of weeks,” said Gov. Doug Burgum in an interview with Prairie Public.
The camp is on Corps of Engineers land. A Florida contractor will clean up the area, and the cost could be more than $1 million. The Corps will pay for the clean-up.
Burgum said contractors still have to clear abandoned cars, structures and garbage from that area.
“We’ve taken over 240 roll-off size construction dumpster loads out of there already, over the past few weeks," Burgum said. "And I expect they’re going to have to take at least that many or more again just to get the material off. And there will have to be soil remediation and clean-up. So there’s a lot of work to do in the weeks ahead.”