The Governor’s office announced they will accept a $15 million donation from Dakota Access LLC.
The money will go to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (DES) to help deal with debt brought on as a result of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
The donation was wired this afternoon to the state-owned Bank of North Dakota and it will be used to pay off loans taken out by DES.
According to a press release sent by the Governor’s officer, a bill passed by the state legislature in 2017 included language saying the Governor and DES could “accept reimbursement in the form of land, cash, or other assets from from nonstate sources for state cost incurred relating to unlawful activity associated with the construction” of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Another bill passed in 2017, HB 1024, required that any reimbursements received must be used to repay the Bank of North Dakota loans.
Currently the state has borrowed $43 million from the Bank of North Dakota. $40 million for DES and $3 million for Morton County.
During a budget interim committee meeting at the State Capitol Thursday, they voted to accept a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to reimburse the state for law enforcement support costs.
In a press release, Governor Doug Burgum issued the following:
“We are grateful for Dakota Access Pipeline’s recognition of the significant impacts this project had on our state, our citizens and the law enforcement officers and emergency services personnel who worked tirelessly to protect the life, health and safety of everyone involved,” Burgum said. “We remain committed to pursuing all available avenues to ensure that North Dakota taxpayers alone don’t bear the enormous costs of law enforcement, life safety and other resources expended on the protests.”