Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke plans to spend four days next week in North Dakota, including visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park and meeting with state and tribal leaders. Zinke, who was invited to Bismarck to speak at an oil industry conference, will spend Monday, May 21, through Thursday, May 24, in North Dakota, followed by a three-day visit to South Dakota, Interior Press Secretary Heather Swift said.
BISMARCK—It was throwback Thursday for the North Dakota Industrial Commission on May 17. Members approved meeting minutes from the past eight months after falling behind with publishing the records, a delay commissioners said was due to a staffing shortage. Gov. Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, two of the three commission members, did not ask any questions as they approved the minutes, which were from 12 previous meetings dating back to August 2017.
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Department of Health is seeking public comments as it establishes a new Department of Environmental Quality. The department’s Environmental Health Section is becoming a separate agency as directed by state legislators last session. Before the change can become official, the department has to adopt new rules. Dave Glatt, chief of the Environmental Health Section, said the new rules primarily involve changing the name and other minor updates to wording.
BISMARCK—A member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said this week he'd like regulators to get more aggressive with contractors with repeat violations of the North Dakota One-Call law. Commissioner Brian Kroshus made the comments Wednesday, March 14, as the commission issued a $7,000 fine to Wagner Construction for repeat violations of the state's excavation notice system law. "These are serious instances where someone could be seriously hurt or even killed in the process of excavation," Kroshus said. "It's not something to be taken lightly."
BISMARCK—Meteorologist Daryl Ritchison had a mixed message Tuesday for North Dakota farmers and ranchers worried about the potential for another season of drought. Ritchison predicts precipitation will be close to normal in 2018, but reminded producers that North Dakota is normally dry, and the state is low on soil moisture from 2017. "We're catching up to last year," said Ritchison, interim director of the North Dakota Agriculture Weather Network. "If we have average precipitation this summer, and my forecast is right, 90 percent of you will think I stink."
BISMARCK—Conservationists warned Thursday, Feb. 1, that North Dakota's Badlands are threatened by oil and gas development unless the public and state leaders take action. The Badlands Conservation Alliance and the North Dakota Wildlife Federation released a short film called "Keeping All the Pieces" aimed at trying to minimize impacts of energy development on the state's natural resources.
BISMARCK — The Board of University and School Lands welcomed a new land commissioner Wednesday, Dec. 6, while recognizing outgoing commissioner Lance Gaebe for his service. Jodi Smith attended her first board meeting as commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands while Gaebe attended his last meeting after spending about a week helping with the transition. "He's been wonderful to work with, and I commend him as a leader," said Smith, in her eighth day in the position.
BISMARCK — Officials in McKenzie County say they want to better understand the risks of a proposed oilfield waste facility that would involve injecting a mixture of solid and liquid waste underground. The North Dakota Department of Health has scheduled a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the Watford City Civic Center for a radioactive materials handling license sought by Waste Management of North Dakota.
BISMARCK—An oil company failed to report a 19,740-gallon brine spill at a site in Bottineau County last month until after a landowner noticed and alerted health officials. Great American Royalties Inc. filed a report on Monday, Oct. 9, about a tank that overflowed on Sept. 24 about 12 miles northwest of Maxbass, spilling 470 barrels of brine or saltwater, a waste byproduct of oil development. "The company did not make a notification until they were told to," said Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager for the North Dakota Department of Health.
TIOGA, N.D. — Four years after discovering North Dakota's largest oil pipeline spill, Steve and Patty Jensen are looking forward to removing the last contaminated soil from their former wheat field. Crews are nearly done excavating soil from what remains a massive operation to clean up 20,600 barrels — 865,200 gallons — of Bakken crude that Steve Jensen discovered while harvesting wheat on Sept. 29, 2013.