Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 580-6890.
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BISMARCK — Environmental regulators in North Dakota worry that proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency's budget could have major local impacts. The state Department of Health relies on federal grants from the EPA to help fund many programs in the Environmental Health Section, such as those that protect the air and water. President Donald Trump proposes reducing the EPA's budget by 31 percent, but few details about the cuts are available.
MANDAN, N.D. — Actress Shailene Woodley has agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct and serve one year of unsupervised probation for her involvement with Dakota Access Pipeline protests last October. Woodley signed a plea agreement filed Friday, March 24, that states she would plead guilty to the Class B misdemeanor. The charge was amended from an earlier charge of criminal trespass. A misdemeanor charge of engaging in a riot will be dismissed under terms of the agreement.
TransCanada Corp. said on Friday, March 24, the U.S. Department of State issued a presidential permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline linking Canadian oil sands to U.S. refiners, a project blocked by former President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to advance the project soon after taking office in January, saying it would create thousands of jobs. Obama had said the pipeline would do nothing to reduce fuel prices for U.S. motorists and would contribute emissions linked to global warming.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Friday the United States has issued a presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, but environmental groups and Native American tribes vowed to fight the project in the courts and on the land. "Resistance spirit camps" are expected to be erected along the Keystone XL route similar to the camps established by Dakota Access Pipeline opponents in North Dakota, said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network.
BELFIELD, N.D.—An oil pipeline spill that contaminated a tributary of the Little Missouri River last December is now estimated to be three times larger than originally thought, making it one of the most significant pipeline spills in North Dakota history. Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. reports about 12,615 barrels, or 529,830 gallons, of oil spilled as a result of a pipeline leak the company now believes started on Dec. 1 and was discovered by a landowner on Dec. 5, said spokeswoman Wendy Owen.
WILLISTON, N.D. — Human resources manager Judy Billehus had goosebumps as job-seekers filled a Williston job fair Wednesday, March 22. "I knew it was going to be hopping," said Billehus, who was recruiting workers to fill oilfield and construction-related jobs for JMAC Resources. Compared to the past two major Williston job fairs, Billehus said more excitement was in the air as the oil industry rebounds from the recent slowdown.
BISMARCK—A bill that would allow North Dakotans to carry concealed weapons without a permit is on its way to Gov. Doug Burgum's desk. Senate lawmakers voted 34-13 Tuesday, March 21, to approve the so-called constitutional carry bill. House Bill 1169, which was approved by the House last month, says a person who is not otherwise prevented from having a Class 2 concealed carry license and has had an ID issued by the state Department of Transportation for at least a year may carry a concealed firearm.
MORTON COUNTY, N.D.
MORTON COUNTY, N.D. – Recent “coordinated physical attacks” along the Dakota Access Pipeline route have posed threats to life, physical safety and the environment, Dakota Access LLC said in court records filed late Monday, March 20. The company filed a sealed motion late Monday to keep most its latest construction status report confidential, citing the recent attacks. The document, which is mostly redacted, did not specify where or when the attacks have occurred. “These coordinated attacks will not stop line-fill operations,” Dakota Access attorneys wrote.
MINOT, N.D. — At North Dakota's first methadone clinic, about 40 percent of clients rely on a state-funded voucher program to help them pay for treatment. "It's serving a huge need," said Mark Schaefer, clinic manager for Community Medical Services in Minot, which opened last August and serves 60 clients. But the substance use disorder voucher program, established by the Legislature in 2015, is set to run out of money as early as next week, according to the Department of Human Services.