"From the state of North Dakota stand point, February 22nd might have been a fine date a month ago, but it's not a good day today in practicality with the people that are there", said Republican Gov. Doug Burgum. The order, issued on Wednesday, cites safety and pollution concerns from flooding due to warm weather. They think the thousands of pounds of trash could pollute the Missouri River, among other waterways - officials are not concerned about how to pay for the cleanup.
"The Corps of Engineers is escorting a contractor back out to the camp to survey and asses the amount of cleaning and remediation that needs done", said Capt. Ryan Hignight with the US Army Corps of Engineers. State officials say it isn't going fast enough. Garbage ranges from trash to building debris to human waste, according to Morton County Emergency Manager Tom Doering. He said federal and state officials won't decide until later how to pay for the addition crews.
Doering said local officials hope President Donald Trump will declare the campsites a disaster area, opening the prospect of federal aid.
The controversial project is an approximately 1,900 km pipeline that connects the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota and Patoka Illinois, the $3.78 billion project was planned to function by January 1, almost 90 per cent is reported to have been completed.
Cleanup is already underway, but the army corps will be stepping in to expedite the process.
Burgum says that waste is a more imminent threat to the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux than anything else.
The tribe ordered occupiers to leave the area after the Obama administration rejected the almost 2,000-mile long pipeline in December. In January President Donald Trump signed executive orders giving the greenlight for companies to re-submit applications and continue construction. Last week the Corps of Engineers granted a final easement to the pipeline's chief builders, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP).
"It's completely impossible to remove everything down there in that short of a time frame", said Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.