BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem announced today that his office has completed the initial review of the recent land purchase by Dakota Access, LLC, for compliance with the state’s corporate farming laws.
As required by statute, the review considered whether the land purchase by Dakota Access met a statutory exception. Dakota Access asserted in light of past and continued civil disturbances at and near pipeline construction areas, the land purchase was temporarily necessary to provide a safer environment for its workers and contractors, and for commercial development, siting of facilities, and other business purposes.
Pursuant to corporate farming laws and in consideration of these temporary business purposes identified by Dakota Access, Stenehjem will continue the review process and closely monitor the situation during an interim period.
While this ongoing review continues, Dakota Access has entered into a tolling agreement that preserves the right of the state to file a future lawsuit, if necessary, to enforce corporate farming laws.
Within this tolling agreement, Stenehjem and Dakota Access do not comment on the merits of any potential present or future litigation. This tolling agreement merely suspends the running of any applicable statute of limitations for a mutually-agreed amount of time. Dakota Access, for the duration of this tolling agreement, waives the right to use a statute of limitations as a method of legal defense.
While this tolling agreement is in effect, Stenehjem will continue to review how Dakota Access uses the land it recently purchased and assess Dakota Access compliance with corporate farming laws.