North Dakota

Protester Trash and Debris Threaten Water Contamination at Dakota Access Pipeline

Clean-up efforts are in a race to beat the coming floods.

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Fibonacci Blue / Wikimedia Commons

There may be a looming environmental disaster in North Dakota, but the problem isn't the Dakota Access Pipeline. It's the people protesting it.

After the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a statement demanding that the Oceti Sakowin Camp be closed by February 22 over concerns of flooding, many protesters packed up and departed. Left behind was their trash and waste, NBC News reported.

Oceti Sakowin Camp sits in a lowland area where the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers converge, making it a prime location for flooding. The record winter snowfall heightens the chances as spring arrives. And with flooding comes the risk of water contamination as trash and human waste could be swept into the nearby rivers.

Federal and local officials estimate there's enough trash and human waste to fill 2,500 pick-up trucks, according to ABC News. Efforts to clean up the area are underway, but time is of the essence as the surrounding snow begins to melt.

"We're really fighting the clock," Morton County Emergency Manager Tom Doering told ABC News on Wednesday. "There's more garbage down there than anybody anticipated."

"There's more than anticipated, and it's under a lot of snow," Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault said, per CBS Minnesota. "I wouldn't say it's going to get done in days; it's going to take weeks."

Standing Rock Environmental Protection Agency and Dakota Sanitation are currently working to remove the mountains of trash that have accumulated. Everything from tents to cars have been left behind after protesters received the evacuation notices. Around 300 to 400 people are reportedly still at the campsite, with some aiding in the clean-up effort. Despite the help, the job is only half-finished, according to the Washington Times.

One of the main arguments against constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline in the first place was that it was an environmental risk, since a rupture in the line could contaminate potable water in the area. Now it seems the protesters themselves may end up polluting the rivers, if their debris can't be cleared out in time.

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    1. FOAD you deranged freak.

      1. Please do not feed it.

  1. Federal and local officials estimate there’s enough trash and human waste to fill 2,500 pick-up trucks, according to ABC News. Efforts to clean up the area are underway, but time is of the essence as the surrounding snow begins to melt.

    I’m sure a bunch of hollywood celebrities are on their way to help

  2. At least some of those assholes stayed behind to practice what the preach, I suppose.

  3. Where is Iron Eyes Cody when you need him?

  4. If this were in a movie you wouldn’t believe it.

  5. Remember, these retards protested because they were convinced the pipeline was going to pollute the water supplies. You can’t make this shit up.

  6. A pretty damn good case study for the environmentalist movement as a whole!! They’ll literally destroy the environment on behalf of causes that might save the environment!!

    Giant wind turbines that butcher birds and especially bats (who’s echolocation can’t detect the spinning blades)?? Fuck nature, we need Green Energy!!

    A gallon of ethanol requires more fossil fuels burned to produce than burning a gallon of gasoline?? Fuck logic, we need to end our dependence on oil!!

    Hydroelectric dams flooding valleys and horribly uprooting natural environments?? BUT IT’S GREEN!!

    Light-bulbs that use slightly less energy, provide less light, and contain trace amounts of mercury that will inevitably end up in landfills?? WE BETTER MAKE THAT SHIT MANDATORY!!

    At this point in time I’d be surprised if the environmental protesters DIDN’T trash the environment in the process of protesting.

    1. some points you are right and others not so much.

      Hydroelectric dams can be good depending on how they are employed. They have pros and cons.

      No clue on the ethanol but ethanol is stupid because of soil erosion and causes food and land to skyrocket.

      CCFL uses 1/4 the electricity and last 3-5 times longer on average but the whole mercury thing is stupid. There is no safe collection system set up and in many use cases they are not smart and die early. Making it “mandatory” was stupid and not having a a proper collection and recycle system was really fucking stupid. Also not educating people on how and where they should be use was stupid.

      I already switched my whole house to LED….90 bulbs later :/ 1,000 dollars later but now i don’t care if i leave my lights on. I won;t have to replace for ever, and they use 1/5th the electricity. Kitchen was using 600 watts IIRC per hour and now i use 120 watts per hour IIRC and have 20% more light 😀

      1. 1 grand because i have like 50% extra bulbs so I can replace and RMA the few flaky ones over the next decade.

      2. Watts per hour?

        Are you sure about that?

        1. I don’t think anyone is sure. My electric company says, “Pay this amount!” every month and I do. It’s possible that I could measure what I use in water and compare it to what they charge me. Electricity, I would have to spend more money that it is worth in devices to measure my usage.

          1. ThomasD’s point was that the watt is a unit of power, not energy. It is already a rate; namely, 1 watt is equal to 1 joule per second. SomeGuy almost certainly means that his kitchen is using 600 watts. If it was drawing 600 watts per hour, then after a few months, he would be consuming more power than the rest of his neighbors combined. In a decade or so, he’d be exhausting an entire power plant just for his kitchen.

            The power company confuses things because they use kilowatt-hours to bill you; 1 killowatt-hour is 1000 watts times 1 hour. That makes it a unit of energy not power, since the time units “cancel out” (with an adjustment factor of 3600 seconds per hour).

    1. Should be the landowner who permitted them to camp there and leave the crap behind. But you know the answer: the taxpayers.

      1. That would be the federal government. They’re on land controlled by the US Army Corps of Engineers. They don’t have the proper permits, but they weren’t told to leave either.

    2. Who pays for the cleanup?

      This is almost exactly where my mind went. We really need Ron Bailey to explain the tragedy of the commons to us. Then delineate how we either need to appoint an agency in charge of cleaning up these protests, privatize the cleanup, or ignore the problem altogether. And that the latter two options are non-viable on their face.

      1. worst problem is none of them were arrests and charged with littering. I don’t understand why they weren’t fined out of their ass for this.

        1. Seems like textbook situation of both private and public nuisance. And it’s not like the people who caused this are unknown.

  7. It’s easier when you’ve given up and just want to watch the world burn from here on…

    1. That’s been my plan for the last year now.

  8. The image doesn’t work for me, but there is alt text, so I’m satisfied.

    1. You’re probably better off. Lindsay searched for a stock image of a giant pile of garbage and all that came up was pictures of Winston’s mom.

      1. I hope to God she had clothes on

        1. It’s Winston’s mom, so what do you think?

          1. I shudder to think about it.

        2. I hope to God she had clothes on

          Are we not libertarians? If Lindsay wants to search for a stock image of a giant pile of garbage in her skivvies or less, who are we to judge?

          1. Tonight’s Google porn search selected

  9. How ironic

    1. You misspelled expected.

  10. They should next raid a spent fuel pool to protest nuclear power.

  11. There may be a looming environmental disaster in North Dakota, but the problem isn’t the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s the people protesting it.

    One of the main arguments against constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline in the first place was that it was an environmental risk, since a rupture in the line could contaminate potable water in the area. Now it seems the protesters themselves may end up polluting the rivers, if their debris can’t be cleared out in time.

    Nice work, eco-warriors. Bra-fucking-vo.

    After the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a statement demanding that the Oceti Sakowin Camp be closed by February 22 over concerns of flooding, many protesters packed up and departed. Left behind was their trash and waste, NBC News reported.

    Re-enactment.

    1. It is funny to me how many articles libertarians write about how horrible it is that free speech is being usurped and how precious free speech is to libertarians and yet libertarians decry every protest that disagrees with their libertarian stupidity.

      Hypocrisy much? How about at every turn.

      One day you will realize how short your ideology is when it comes time to stand up for issues that really affect people and human progress.

      On another note, this is obviously a “set up” story told from the prospective of the “authorities” to ensure people understand how bad protesting is and how bad protesters are. It is egregious mendacity. Where is your critical thinking?

      1. I’ve consistently thought the protestors were ignorant shits. Here they proved it.

      2. 1. Decrying a protest is not violating free speech. Wanting them jailed for protesting would be

        2. That isnt the issue here which is trashing property that isnt theirs which has nothing to do with free speech

      3. We believe strongly in people’s right to hold and express their views without being subjected to violence, state-sanctioned or otherwise. That same principle gives us the right to hold and express the view that said views are stupid.

        1. They could have spent every moment extolling the virtues of the NAP. Which would have been just dandy had they not trashed the fucking place.

          Trashing the place tending to diminish whatever moral standing you may have previously had.

          Doubly so if your ‘protest’ is predicated on “concern for the environment.”

          So IOW, I’ll see your double standard, and raise you one.

      4. Lefty can’t tell difference between criticizing stupid speech and making it illegal. Color me shocked.

        Maybe this is why they sent dissenters to work camps? Maybe leftists still haven’t wrapped their mind around the idea of criticizing words without making the illegal?

      5. Oh, bullshit.

        Even the Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II expressed disgust at the way protesters trashed the environment.

        When the people you’re protesting on the SUPPOSED behalf of start telling you off, that’s a pretty good time to come back to reality and acknowledge that you fucked up.

        “Before this entire movement started, that was some of the most beautiful land around. There was a place down there where eagles, over 100 eagles would come and land. There were game down there ? deer, pheasants, elk, geese. Now, it’s occupied by people. And when masses of people come to one place, we don’t take care of it.” -Archambault

        It’s the Sioux who are upset with you people. It’s not so much the authorities but the VERY PEOPLE YOU PRETEND TO BE HELPING.

  12. It’s like 10,000 pounds of trash when all you need is a pipe. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

    1. A little too ironic.

  13. “We had to pollute the river in order to clean it up.”

    1. +1 shovel ready jobs

  14. “Federal and local officials estimate there’s enough trash and human waste to fill 2,500 pick-up trucks…”

    In the city, we measure our trash in dumpsters.

    1. In the city, we measure our trash in dumpsters.

      Well, yeah. You can only put two, maybe three, bodies in the cab of a pickup truck, but a dumpster can hold like a half-dozen. More if they’re ‘just fetuses’.

    2. Dump trucks don’t play well on the prairie. Doubly so when the prairie is thawed/soggy.

    3. The local news in Bismarck measured it in both tons and dump truck loads. 250 dump truck loads if I recall correctly.

  15. “Federal and local officials estimate there’s enough trash and human waste to fill 2,500 pick-up trucks . . .”

    Pick-up trucks? Is that some new standard measurement now??

    1. Teaspoons are soooo Obama

  16. Isn’t this close enough to the border where you could make a quick squiggle on the map and hey yo the area is now in Canada? It’s you’re problem now you maple leafing mother fuckers!

    1. Nope. Border is hundreds of miles away.

      1. Is it closer in kilometers?

      2. Not to mention if ND ceded from the Union, it would have the 3rd largest stockpile of nuclear warheads.

  17. If the fucking greenies are anything, they’re stupid shits.

  18. This isn’t a new issue. I’ve been hearing sewage concerns since September. Why on earth would they dig cesspools on a floodplain?

  19. I seem to remember a lot of complaining and hand wringing over environmental contamination when the goofballs in Oregon left the wildlife offices. I wonder why we’re not hearing that sort of thing now, especially since the magnitude of contamination is so much higher.

  20. Oceti Sakowin Camp sits in a lowland area where the Missouri and Cannonball Rivers converge, making it a prime location for flooding. The record winter snowfall heightens the ???? ????? ??????? ????? ???? chances as spring arrives. And with flooding comes the risk of water contamination as trash and human waste could be swept into the nearby rivers.

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