MORTON COUNTY, N.D. – A mid-winter thaw had an impact on efforts to clean up the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp.

The governor of North Dakota signed an executive order reaffirming a Feb. 22 deadline for protesters to leave the camp.

The governor insisted people’s lives may be at risk from flooding.

Cleanup of the camp has been ongoing, but the Army Corps. of Engineers stepped in to expedite the process.

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During the cleanup process a major concern has been amount of human waste in the camp.

Governor Doug Burgum said, “One of the biggest environmental threats to clean water in the Missouri right now is the camp itself because we’ve got five or six months of human waste, debris.”

Capt. Ryan Hignight of US Army Corps. of Engineers added,  “The Corps. of Engineers is escorting a contractor back out to the camp to survey and asses the amount of cleaning and remediation that needs done.”

North Dakota officials called the campsites a potential environmental disaster.

A series of flood gauges was set up along the river to monitor water levels.