WHAT HAPPENED: Since early last year, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other Native American tribes have joined together to protest the building of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. Native American tribes don’t want the pipeline to run through sacred tribal land and, if anything should go wrong with the pipe, contaminate the reservation’s drinking water.
NOW WHAT: Despite continued protests, President Trump issued an executive order to expedite the review of the pipeline. Since then,
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved the final piece of land needed to continue building the pipeline. While the Standing Rock Sioux tribe plans to continue their fight in court, the Oceti Sakowin camp where protestors gathered, has, for the most part, been abandoned. What they did leave behind, however, is garbage.
The Governor of North Dakota has issued an emergency evacuation to clean up the protest camp before warmer weather and melting snow washes the debris into two major waterways, the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers. Despite weeks of cleanup efforts by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the Feds are now being called in to help speed up the efforts in a race against nature.