AG: More time needed for pipeline policing costs negotiation

September 16, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s attorney general said Thursday that state and federal lawyers need more time to negotiate a settlement for money that the state claims it spent on policing protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

North Dakota filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2019, seeking to recover more than $38 million in damages from the monthslong pipeline protests almost five years ago.

State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and two other state lawyers met with attorneys from the Corps and Justice Department for more than three hours at the federal courthouse in Bismarck Thursday.

Stenehjem says U.S. Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal presided over the negotiations, and suggested more time would be needed to reach an agreement.

Stenehjem called the negotiations complex and unprecedented but would not disclose any details.

A date for the next round of negotiations was not immediately set.

If no settlement can be reached, a trial is set for May 1, 2023.