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Published April 08, 2013, 08:33 PM

Senate takes first step in protecting oil country landowners

State lawmakers are close to finalizing a package of bills to protect landowners in oil country. The Senate approved House Bill 1348 Monday afternoon.

State lawmakers are close to finalizing a package of bills to protect landowners in oil country. The Senate approved House Bill 1348 Monday afternoon.

Under this bill, a landowner can request flares and other facilities associated with the production of oil to be 1,000 feet from an occupied dwelling. That doubles the existing distance requirement. Lawmakers say the bills will help to guide the growth taking place in western North Dakota. Representative Todd Porter says the bills balance landowner rights and economic development.

Porter: "I don't know that there's another state dealing with oil and gas that has legislation that looks like we've done. I believe it's not only landmark but it's going to be the benchmark for other states as they move forward with oil exploration and production."

Another bill passed sets aside money to clean up oil spills, sets rules for salt water use and disposal and requires pipelines to provide a map of gathering lines.

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