Weather Forecast


ND approves frack water disposal well near Killdeer

The North Dakota Industrial Commission on Monday approved the creation of a saltwater disposal well outside of Killdeer that some think is too close to a future subdivision.

During a meeting in Bismarck, the IC ruled that Waterworks Killdeer LLC would be allowed to dispose of saltwater and other fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process in an area where lots are for sale.

In a compromise of sorts, Waterworks Killdeer agreed to position its new injection well further away from the planned 20-lot subdivision, but not the 2,500 feet further away engineer and contracting owner Cory Ravnaas had requested for the site, which is about nine miles west of Killdeer.

In a letter sent to the IC in August, Ravnaas argued it would be "inappropriate to site a commercial saltwater disposal well immediately adjacent to a platted residential neighborhood," according to the IC.

In a separate letter to the IC, Dahl Homestead Development owners Tim and Fayleen Fischer also requested the disposal well be moved away from the subdivision site, citing concerns about added truck traffic, noise and dust.

"We don't have an issue with the well itself," Fayleen Fischer said Tuesday. "We would just prefer it wasn't so close to the site."

Ravnaas went a step further in his letter, saying he thought it would be "disastrous to the success of the new rural residential community."

Testifying on behalf of Waterworks Killdeer at an earlier hearing before the IC, Brent Lansberg stated the company was willing to move the surface facilities of the operation away from the subdivision site, though he said they would not move the requested 2,500 feet.

In its finding, the IC did not list a specific distance for surface operations to be moved. At the hearing, Lansberg had noted Waterworks Killdeer still needed to obtain an approach permit from the North Dakota Department of Transportation for access to the site and added the company would attempt to receive permission to gain access directly from Highway 200 to limit truck traffic.

Also in the finding, the IC noted that "the proposed injection well will be constructed in such a manner as to prevent the movement of fluids into or between underground sources of drinking water," something the IC doesn't take lightly, said Department of Mineral Resources Public Information Officer Alison Ritter.

"The construction of injection wells is something that is taken very seriously," Ritter said. "All wells are tested monthly to make sure they are in full working order."

Another subdivision, owned by a different company, is planned for an 80-acre site east of Killdeer. Work is expected to begin on that site later this year.

Ravnaas declined to comment to The Dickinson Press about the decision by the IC.