seeded from NBC News
The Corps said oil erosion and pollution — which it attributed to the "unauthorized placement of structures, vehicles, personal property, and fires" on the land over the course of more than six months — could result in contaminated runoff into both rivers.
"As stewards of the public lands and natural resources, we have a responsibility to the public to prevent injuries and loss of life," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District Commander, Col. John Henderson. "We must also ensure our precious water resources are free from pollution due to human activities and respect for all who rely on this water for their livelihoods."
A senior U.S. Defense official confirmed to NBC News that members of Congress were notified today of the decision.
The decision could be the final, decisive blow for a protest movement that began at the camp in early August with just a few dozen protesters — who call themselves water protectors — from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and blossomed into a movement captivated the nation with thousands of Native Americans and environmental activists flocking to the remote North Dakota plains to stop the $3.7 billion pipeline.