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WILLISTON, N.D.—In Karolin Jappe's first year as emergency manager in McKenzie County, she responded to five explosions at oil and gas facilities. Most concerning to Jappe was that four of the five companies did not have emergency plans. "It's hard to work with a company when they don't have a plan," she said.
WATFORD CITY, N.D.—A company planning a new natural gas processing plant in McKenzie County will appear before the Public Service Commission on Friday, May 19, about building two short pipelines. Arrow Field Services, a subsidiary of Crestwood Midstream Partners, proposes to build two 2.6-mile transmission pipelines to transport residue natural gas and natural gas liquids. The $6.3 million pipeline project would connect to the proposed Arrow Natural Gas Processing Plant about 7½ miles southeast of Watford City.
TULARE, S.D.—An estimated 84 gallons of crude oil spilled at a Dakota Access Pipeline pump station in South Dakota last month, an incident opponents of the controversial pipeline say raises concerns. The spill occurred April 4 while crews were testing a pump at an above-ground pumping station near Tulare, which is about 50 miles south of Aberdeen.
WASHINGTON – Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., voted Wednesday, May 10, against repealing a federal rule related to methane emissions, a regulation supported by tribal and environmental groups but considered “disastrous” by North Dakota’s energy industry. Congress proposed to repeal the Bureau of Land Management rule on methane emissions from federal and tribal lands approved during the final weeks of the Obama administration.
BISMARCK -- The Environmental Protection Agency administrator announced Tuesday, May 9, he has signed a proposed rule that will allow North Dakota to regulate underground wells to store carbon dioxide, opening the door for new projects to reduce emissions. The long-awaited step from the EPA puts North Dakota on track to become the first state to have regulatory authority over Class VI wells, or injection wells that can store carbon dioxide deep underground instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.
WASHINGTON — A possible error in the Congressional spending bill left North Dakota off a list of states with legalized medical marijuana, raising questions about potential impacts for the state as it launches a new program. An amendment in the bill lists states that have legalized medical marijuana and prevents federal dollars from being used to prevent the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana in those states. But North Dakota, which is implementing a medical marijuana program after voters approved it last November, is not on the list.
BISMARCK—North Dakotans who rely on state-funded vouchers to access treatment for substance use won't see a lapse in services after recent action by North Dakota legislators. The substance use disorder treatment voucher program, established by the 2015 Legislature, ran out of money in February and was at risk of being inadequately funded for 2017-19. But legislators decided to put an extra $200,000 toward the program to sustain it through the end of June. Starting in July, the voucher program will be expanded with nearly $2.8 million in funding.
BISMARCK -- Gov. Doug Burgum vetoed several line items in the budget bill for the Public Employees Retirement System, along with line items in eight other bills. Burgum’s office said the vetoes announced Wednesday, May 3, aimed to “reduce spending and protect executive branch authority and the flexibility needed to reinvent government.” The line items vetoed in the PERS bill remove the early termination of the health insurance contract with Sanford Health.
WILLISTON, N.D.—Anglers looking to tangle with the biggest fish in the Missouri River are lining the shorelines in northwest North Dakota this week for paddlefish season. "It's a rush," said Randy Baxstrom of Colorado, who was among those to snag a paddlefish on Tuesday, May 2, the first harvest day of the year. The season is scheduled to run through May, but will close early if the 1,000-harvest cap is reached. As of early Tuesday afternoon, participants had harvested more than 40 paddlefish, with the largest one weighing 105 pounds.