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Hearing set for Thursday on Bakken mobile oilfield radioactive waste treatment plant

KILLDEER, N.D.—Several members of the public say they want more information about a mobile oilfield waste treatment plant that's proposed for the Bakken.

The North Dakota Department of Health will hold a public hearing this week on White Wing Limited's application for a radioactive materials license.

The hearing is Thursday night at the Dunn County Highway Department, 300 Central Ave S. in Killdeer.

The business proposes to process, filter and separate oilfield waste that contains naturally occurring radioactive material.

According to the company's application, it does not plan to collect or store oilfield waste. The waste would be would be immediately disposed of at a special waste landfill.

If the level of radioactivity of the waste is higher than the level accepted in North Dakota, the waste would be transported out of state to a permitted landfill, the application said.

The company anticipates operating primarily in McKenzie, Dunn, Williams and Mountrail counties, the largest oil-producing counties in the state.

The Dunn County Commission and about a dozen citizens submitted letters to the health department raising questions about the proposal and requesting a public hearing.

Dunn County Commission Chairman Reinhard Hauck wrote that commissioners would like more information about how the waste is transported and how it will be verified that it gets to the proper disposal site.

Some wanted more information about the experience and qualifications of White Wing Limited, which lists an address in Excelsior, Minn., a shared office space.

Brent Lansberg, listed in the application as managing member for the company, declined to comment, saying he preferred to address questions at the public hearing.

It's unclear if the treatment unit also would require a permit from the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division. Spokeswoman Alison Ritter said the agency is in the process of determining whether a permit is necessary.

If the Oil and Gas Division also requires a permit, the agency would hold a public hearing, Ritter said.

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