The federal government’s denied a request by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum for a major disaster declaration to cover some of the $38 million in law enforcement costs over the Dakota Access pipeline protests.
The governor made the request in April, writing to President Trump. The denial came in May but the governor’s office didn’t announce it until reporters asked about it this week.
“It wasn’t a surprise to us. We knew it was a longshot,” said Mike Nowatzki, a spokesman for the governor. He said such declarations usually involve natural disasters and not civil unrest related disasters.
Gov. Burgum had written the President an 11-page letter maintaining the federal government should bear some of the costs because it failed to “enforce its regulations and maintain law and order on its property.”
For six months, thousands of protesters camped around the completion site of the $3.8 billion pipeline built by Energy Transfer Partners based in Dallas, Texas. Police, sheriff’s deputies and National Guard soldiers were needed to maintain order.
North Dakota borrowed money from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota to cover the costs.