Erin Mundahl | InsideSources
For months, activists protested to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. United under the slogan “Water is Life,” they engaged in increasingly provocative acts of civil disobedience, hoping to force the Army Corps of Engineers not to grant an easement allowing the project to drill under the Missouri River. For North Dakota officials, the worry isn’t pipeline leaks, but protesters’ abandoned gas tanks. Of particular concern is water contamination from abandoned cars, which could leak oil, gas, and other chemicals into the river.
“There’s a lot of cleanup going on, but it’s slow moving,” Lt. Tom Iverson of the North Dakota Highway Patrol said of the cleanup on a local radio show, “and it’s not going to be fast enough to be honest.”
It isn’t just the hundreds of tons of garbage. The protesters left behind several hundred vehicles.
“There are roughly 200 vehicles down there at last count, ranging from cars and pickups to rental trucks,” said George Kuntz, vice president of the North Dakota Towing Association