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On Wednesday, authorities arrested 76 Dakota Access pipeline protestors who refused to abandon their encampment on private land. The arrests come after the Army Corps was granted an easement to clear the way for pipeline completion.
Tensions are running high near the Dakota Access Pipeline, especially after Donald Trump signed an executive order to reboot construction efforts. The AP reports that law enforcement has made 696 arrests since August 2016, but Wednesday’s arrests show that the pipeline will still meet resistance.
The 76 protesters in question were arrested by Cannon Ball authorities after they had set up a camp on land that is owned by Energy Transfer Partners, the company that is managing the construction of the pipeline. Officials said they warned the protestors several times to move, but to no avail.
And the situation may only grow more contentious after the Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer granted the easement, which was the last obstacle to completion. Army Major General Malcolm Frost told CNN that the easement has yet to be fully approved saying, “The assistant secretary for the Army Civil Works will make a decision on the easement once a full review and analysis is completed in accordance with the directive.”
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe said they were not consulted on the easement and are gearing up for a legal battle to stop it.