Protesters have until 2 p.m. to leave Dakota Access Pipeline camp

The evacuation is taking place for safety reasons and to prevent an "ecological disaster" as nearby river levels surge.

Those protesting the construction of a controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota have until 2 p.m. Wednesday to leave the camp, or face arrest.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed an emergency evacuation order last week that says those protesting at the Oceti Sakowin camp need to leave amid concerns for their safety with the nearby Cannon Ball River likely to rise several feet in the next few days.

The Wednesday deadline was set to address "safety concerns to human life" as well as to prevent an ecological disaster in the Missouri River if the human waste and garbage created during the monthslong protest isn't cleared up.

However, according to Reuters, some of the protesters are expected to defy the removal order, setting up a "showdown" with authorities.

"Everybody plans to be in camp tomorrow up until the 2 o'clock mark. Then people will make their individual decisions about what their level of commitment is," Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told the news agency. "Some will get arrested."

"I have no fear. I am living, I am living in the purist form I can. If there are people who want to harm me that's on them,", protester Eric Wallace-Senft told KFYR.

Inforum reports that the governor's administration, the Army Corps. of Engineers and camp leaders met for hours on Tuesday to discuss the mandatory evacuation, but things got heated as protesters confronted state officials for failing to address a "wide variety" of their concerns.

The main protest camp is situated on federal land, with demonstrators standing between the multibillion dollar pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, amid concerns about its path beneath Lake Oahe, which tribal members say puts their water supply at risk in the event of a spill.

CBS News reports that other protest camps have been springing up on private land in the area, including one set up by the Cheyenne River Sioux about a mile from the Oceti Sakowin camp.

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