| March 21
March 21 A stretch of North Dakota highway
closed by months of protests against the Dakota Access pipeline
was to re-open on Tuesday, law enforcement officials said, a day
after the pipeline operator said oil could move through it soon.
Energy Transfer Partners LP, according to court
documents filed on Monday, believes oil could begin flowing
through the 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline as early as this
Traffic would be allowed on Highway 1806 from Fort Rice,
south of Mandan in the state's southwest, to the Cannonball
Bridge near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation starting at
noon, the Morton County Sheriff's Department and North Dakota
Highway Patrol said in a statement.
The nearly 9-mile (14 km) stretch of highway was closed in
October when Native Americans and environmental activists
descended on the area in an effort to force the re-routing of
the multibillion dollar pipeline away from a lake upstream from
The demonstrators said the pipeline could pollute water
supplies and destroy sacred historic tribal sites. Backwater
Bridge was the site of multiple clashes between law enforcement
and protesters and barricades were erected on it to keep
protesters from reaching the site of the pipeline.
The remaining barricades were being removed on Tuesday,
authorities said. Heavy snow also fell over the area during the
Law enforcement swept through the protest camp late last
month, clearing the remaining protesters.
Earlier this month, a federal judge denied a request by a
Native American tribe for an emergency injunction to prevent oil
flowing through part of pipeline, saying such a move would be
against the public interest.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Dan