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Health Dept. won’t call more meetings on radioactive oilfield waste

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health has no plans to oblige the Dakota Resource Council’s request Monday to schedule six additional public meetings across the state to take input on proposed rules that would allow for the disposal of radioactive oilfield waste in the state.

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The department announced proposed rules Friday that would allow special oilfield waste landfills and large-volume industrial waste landfills in North Dakota to accept radioactivity levels up to 50 picocuries per gram. The current limit is 5 picocuries, which forces companies to ship filter socks and some other oilfield waste to landfills in other states.

Public information sessions and hearings on the proposed rules are slated for Jan. 13 in Williston, Jan. 14 in Bismarck and Jan. 15 in Fargo.

During a news conference Monday, DRC officials called for additional meetings in Dickinson, Grand Forks, Minot, New Town, Noonan and Watford City.

Dave Glatt, the department’s environmental health chief, said no additional meetings are planned, noting the three scheduled are two more than what’s required. He stressed that the department is accepting public comment through Jan. 31.

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