• ECHO Action Editor

Senator hosts event as proactive approach to Conestoga Township pipeline protest

Senator Scott Martin will host a presentation May 4 for local officials and law enforcement personnel to discuss preparations for potential protests regarding the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Conestoga Township.

The event will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road. The forum is not open to the public.

The presentation will include a panel of officials from North Dakota, participating via video conference, who were instrumental in dealing with the economic and environmental costs within the Dakota Access protest area, according to a news release issued Tuesday by Sen. Martin's office.

Officials said the goal of the presentation is to ensure any potential protests directed at the pipeline are peaceful and held in a manner that will not create a financial burden to taxpayers or a public health risk to residents.

An encampment for protesters against the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline on a farm near Conestoga …

Lancaster Against Pipelines says it has more than 800 Lancaster County residents signed up to participate in peaceful, nonviolent acts to try to stop the pipeline -- which will pass through 37 miles of the county -- from being built.

"State and local governments in North Dakota absorbed tens of millions of dollars in direct costs as a result of the Dakota Access pipeline protests, not to mention the numerous crimes committed against people and property during the protests," Martin said in a written statement. "We need to discuss a proactive approach to this issue so any potential protests can take place in a way that will not impact the public safety or the financial health of local communities."

An ongoing encampment, known as The Lancaster Stand, became a source of controversy in March when the township's zoning officers condemned a barn used by the group and threatened to issue fines for camping on the property.

The zoning board last week approved a special exception to allow the encampment with conditions on crowd control, trash removal and sanitation.


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