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Review of waste facility permit nearly complete

The North Dakota Department of Health's Waste Management Division is in the final stages of reviewing a permit for an oil waste site in Bowman County and a decision could be made next week.

After spillage, leakage and testing failure caused closure of his similar Montana site, Dale Leivestad, owner of Petrocomp of Baker, Mont., has been working with the state health department for three years to fine tune a permit that would allow a similar facility about 14 miles south of Marmarth.

If opened, the facility would serve as a compost disposal cell for a solid byproduct of centrifuging oil exploration and production waste.

Dave Glatt, Department of Health's Environmental Health section chief, is reviewing the permit and anticipates his review to be completed sometime next week.

Glatt could accept, decline or change the permit, but until then, said he needs to seek additional information on a few things before making his decision.

After the health department received 13 written comments, along with comment made at a March 4 public comment meeting in Bowman where water contamination and erosion were among top concerns, two additional conditions were placed on the permit, bringing the total to 53, Radig said in April, according to a previous Press article.

"People are concerned, and rightly so," Radig said.

With water sources in the area of the proposed site and after receipt of comments and concerns with possible water contamination, the health department added a setback distance of 60 to 75 feet from any high-erosion areas.

However, if the health department approves the permit, voters could still change the course of the facility.

Whether or not to allow the waste facility will be put to a vote during the June 8 election.

"It's my understanding that if there is an election on it and it's disapproved by the voters, they cannot issue the permit based on the statute," Bowman County State's Attorney Nici Meyer Clarkson said in April.