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Published June 09, 2010, 10:52 AM

Voters approve compost project in one North Dakota county

BISMARCK, N.D. — Voters in Bowman County have narrowly given a Montana man the go-ahead to operate an oil field waste disposal site in western North Dakota.

BISMARCK, N.D. — Voters in Bowman County have narrowly given a Montana man the go-ahead to operate an oil field waste disposal site in western North Dakota.

Tuesday’s vote was 504 in favor and 454 against, for an approval of 53 percent.

The state Health Department earlier gave Dale Leivestad (LIV’-uhs-tad) a permit for the site, but local voters had the final say.

Environmental regulators in Montana forced Leivestad to close a similar operation that turned manure, straw and unsalable crude oil to compost, saying it made a mess.

North Dakota health officials plan quarterly inspections of the site. Leivestad’s company also must post a line of credit of more than $500,000 for any cleanup costs.

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