WNPR

North Dakota

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration failed to follow proper environmental procedures when it granted approval to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project.

It's a legal victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists, who protested for months against the pipeline. Oil started flowing through it earlier this month. The tribe fears that the pipeline, which crosses the Missouri River just upstream of its reservation, could contaminate its drinking water and sacred lands.

On Thursday morning, law enforcement entered the Oceti Sakowin camp to do a final sweep before officially shutting it down, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Oceti Sakowin camp was the largest of several temporary camps on the northern edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Protesters have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux.

Local law enforcement officers have arrested some people who chose not to evacuate federal land near part of the Dakota Access Pipeline north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Most protesters had left earlier. At dusk, police moved back, and said they would not enter the camp at that time.

In North Dakota, authorities set Wednesday as the deadline for the dwindling number of protesters against the Dakota Access pipeline to clean up and go home.

At the main protest camp, a massive cleanup effort has been underway. Semi trucks have been hauling debris out of camp and people here are piling garbage into bags.

"It looks like a trash pile. But it's getting picked up and every spot is starting to look better and better as we work together," Dotty Agard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says as she sorts through abandoned goods.

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others in North Dakota mounted a massive protest against the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, in part over concerns that any leak could contaminate their drinking water.

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