Tag Archive: North Dakota





Radioactive dump site found in remote North Dakota town

March 11, 2014 1:08 pm  • 

Police and state health officials are investigating the illegal dumping of radioactive filter socks in an abandoned gas station in the tiny remote town of Noonan in Divide County.

“This is a vacant building filled with toxic waste,” said Divide County Sheriff’s Deputy Zach Schroeder, lead investigator, who says the building’s apparent owner is a fugitive on felony larceny charges in Wyoming and so far not traceable.

The building’s contents were reported two weeks ago to Divide County Emergency Manager Jody Gunlock, who said the situation was turned over to the state Health Department and Divide County law enforcement.

Health Department waste division manager Scott Radig said the building contains at least twice as much filter sock material and is more than twice as radioactive as the open trailers loaded with the socks discovered near Watford City three weeks ago.

Schroeder said six separate rooms in the old Mobil gas station contain industrial-sized black garbage bags of filter socks. He estimates at least 200 bags or more are piled into the dirt-floor structure’s warren of rooms.

Schroeder said he’s trying to track down the building owner so the state can jointly develop a cleanup plan. He said county records show Ken Ward, or his wife, own the building as of January 2012, though property taxes for the year were paid by his mother, Edie Ward, who sells real estate in Montana. He said Ken Ward, who escaped police custody, is nowhere to be found.

From records in the building, Schroeder said he has identified a filter sock supply company, Acceleration Production of Watford City, and hopes that will help identify the oil field service company that used them in oil field operations and ditched them in the building.


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Earth Watch Report  –  Hazmat

N.D. filter socks


Casper Star-Tribune Online


February 22 2014 06:10 PM HAZMAT USA State of North Dakota, Watford City Damage level Details



HAZMAT in USA on Saturday, 22 February, 2014 at 18:10 (06:10 PM) UTC.

Federal and state health officials are investigating leaking trailers loaded with thousands of pounds of potentially radioactive filter socks and debris parked on rural property southwest of Watford City. A special agent with the Environmental Protection Agency criminal investigations unit is assigned to the case and a radiation control team from the state Health Department was on scene Friday. Brad Torgerson, with the state Health Department’s waste management division, said the team determined that radiation levels “do not appear to present any public health hazards.” He said the company, RP Services, of Riverton, Wyo., was told to put the waste in proper containers and submit a plan for cleanup. A formal enforcement action is possible, Torgerson said. EPA special agent Dan O’Malley contacted state health officials about the waste; when contacted by the Tribune, O’Malley said he could not confirm his agency’s investigation. The RP Services trailers are parked on property owned by Russ and Mary Williams, whose separate company was involved in an illegal filter sock disposal that led to a $27,000 fine at the McKenzie County landfill operation last summer.

The filter socks are a notorious source of radioactive material because they concentrate naturally occurring radiation from geology down the well hole. The Health Department says the filters should not be landfilled anywhere in North Dakota and instead, should be handled by certified companies for disposal at hazardous waste sites in other states. The trailers loaded with the leaking material and filter socks were reported Thursday to McKenzie County landfill director Rick Schreiber. Schreiber has adopted a tough policy and his is the first landfill in the country to install radiation detection pedestals that monitor every load coming into the landfill. The Health Department is awaiting results of a study on radioactive oil field and other waste before deciding whether to raise its allowable limit of radiation and how disposal sites would be constructed. Because landfills won’t take the socks and levy fines when haulers are caught bringing them in, they sometimes end up in community Dumpsters around towns and roadside ditches. Jerry Samuelson, McKenzie County’s emergency manager, said the JP Services incident illustrates how oil development stretches local governments.



Riverton company’s trailers found leaking toxic material in N.D.


MCKENZIE COUNTY, N.D. — Federal and state health officials are investigating leaks from trailers loaded with thousands of pounds of potentially radioactive filter socks and debris parked on rural land in North Dakota.

The trailers are owned by a Wyoming company, RP Services. A North Dakota Health Department official said the Riverton company had been instructed to dispose of the waste in proper containers and submit a cleanup plan.

A special agent in the Environmental Protection Agency criminal investigations unit was assigned to the case, and on Friday, a radiation control team from the state Health Department showed up at the property, which is southwest of Watford City, N.D.

Brad Torgerson, of the state Health Department’s waste management division, said the team determined that radiation levels “do not appear to present any public health hazards.” Formal enforcement action is possible, Torgerson said.


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Published time: January 23, 2014 01:25
Reuters / Athit Perawongmetha

Reuters / Athit Perawongmetha

Newly unveiled federal data indicates that more crude oil was spilled in US railway incidents in 2013 than in the prior 37 years combined, inspiring lawmakers to push for new safety standards that could avoid similarly devastating incidents in the future.

Altogether, 800,000 gallons spilled from US railroads in the years from 1975 to 2010. That data, which comes from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, does not include records of Canadian spills, some of which are thought to surpass one million gallons spilled on their own.

In part because of major derailments in Alabama and North Dakota, over 1.15 million gallons of crude oil seeped from train cars.

North Dakota crude, the type of oil examined in the government research, tends to have very low density, which means it is made of more volatile compounds that could increase its flammability and make the crude more difficult to clean up.

A single rail car contains approximately 28,800 gallons of oil. According to McClatchy newspapers, 400,000 carloads – over 11.5 billion gallons – were shipped across the continent in 2013. That is an astounding success rate of 99.99 percent, although the spills that did occur were problematic enough to make international headlines.

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June 20, 2013 | By  

Flickr - leagalizefreedom - hempWaking Times

The new Bipartisan Polis-Massie-Blumenauer Amendment would permit America’s colleges and universities to conduct important agricultural research in states that support industrial hemp farming

Many supporters of the medical marijuana and industrial hemp movements would agree that the antiquated and ineffective war on drugs is preventing us from growing a plant that aides in managing physical and mental health, through use of products such as hemp oil, and could also help stimulate the American farming industry. As people become more aware about the benefits of industrial hemp, lawmakers are starting to put forth effort into enabling farmers to grow this miraculous plant. Representative Jared Polis (D-OR), Representative Massie (R-KY), and Representative Blumenauer (D-OR), have introduced to the House a new bi-partisan amendment to the Farm Bill in support of industrial help. Vote Hemp’s press release about the amendment states:

The amendment would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. It would only apply to states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal.

To view the amendment, please go to: http://votehemp.com/legislation

In a “Dear Colleague” letter today, Rep. Polis, Rep. Massie, and Rep. Blumenauer appealed to fellow members of Congress for support with the following:

 “Our bipartisan amendment is simple: It allows colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. It only applies in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal.

Hemp is not marijuana. Our amendment defines industrial hemp as a product containing less than 0.3 percent THC. At this concentration, and even at much higher concentrations, it is physically impossible to use hemp as a drug.

 From Colorado to Kentucky to Oregon, voters across the country have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be regulated as agricultural commodity, not a drug. At the very least, we should allow our universities—the greatest in the world—to research the potential benefits and downsides of this important agricultural resource.

 We urge you to support this bipartisan, common-sense amendment.”

To date, thirty-one states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and nineteen have passed legislation, while nine states (Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia) have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. However, despite state authorization to grow hemp, farmers in these states risk raids by federal agents and possible forfeiture of their farms if they plant the crop, due to the failure of federal policy to distinguish oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis (i.e., industrial hemp) from psychoactive drug varieties.

Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop.  More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org.  Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Ryan Fletcher at 202-641-0277 or ryan@votehemp.com.


This  article  first  appeared on  WakingTimes.com

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Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

by Pete Kennedy, Esq. on June 7, 2013

litigation-milkHerdshares in ND now referred to as “Shared Animal Ownership”

A victory for grassroots efforts!
See Action Alert

NDDA prohibited from restricting herdshares

On April 29 herdshares become officially legal in North Dakota when Governor Jack Dalrymple signed Senate Bill 2072 into law. SB 2072 provides that “it is not a violation [of law] to transfer or obtain raw milk under a shared animal ownership agreement.”

Shared animal ownership is defined in the bill as “any contractual arrangement under which an individual:

      a. Acquires an ownership interest in a milk-producing animal;

b. Agrees to pay another for, reimburse another for, or otherwise accept financial responsibility for the care and boarding of the milk-producing animal at the dairy farm; and

c. Is entitled to receive a proportionate share of the animal’s raw milk production as a condition of the contractual arrangement.

The original version of SB 2072 did not contain a provision on herdshares; the bill only amended the state dairy code to adopt the latest revision of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), which governs the production and sale of pasteurized milk in the U.S.


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Rapid City Journal

Raw milk backers say proposed rules too burdensome

June 07, 2013 6:00 am  •  Bob Mercer Legislative correspondent

PIERRE | A public hearing Thursday served as the latest battleground over regulation of raw milk in South Dakota.

The state Department of Agriculture has proposed nine pages of rules regarding bottled raw milk for human consumption.

More than a dozen residents who believe in what they call the natural benefits of drinking raw milk showed up to oppose the regulations, as did several farmers who produce it.

There are five licensed raw milk producers in South Dakota.

Gena Parkhurst of Rapid City, who described herself as a raw milk consumer, said the proposed rules would prohibit consumption of bottled or packaged raw milk produced by anyone without the necessary state permit, whether or not the milk was free or for sale.

“They cannot offer it to their neighbor; they cannot offer it to their family; they cannot give it away to an informed consumer,” said Parkhurst, a volunteer coordinator for Dakota Rural Action in the Black Hills.

She also claimed that testing for tuberculosis and brucellosis was “unnecessary.”

That’s different than the view of state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven, who spoke in support of the rules. He said raw milk can spread diseases such as tuberculosis.

The state Department of Health tracks illnesses linked to raw milk, while the Legislature allows its sales.

Mellette County raw milk producer Leland Schoon said the proposed requirement of disease testing would be “burdensome and cost-prohibitive” for him since his cows are in a multi-purpose pasture.


– Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

(Boris Grdanoski / AP)

Monsanto claimed Wednesday that the Oregon field found last week to be contaminated with Monsanto’s unapproved GM wheat was an “isolated” incident, and that it was likely either the result of an accident or “sabotage.” However, scientists warned Thursday that the biotech giant’s denial has many holes.

Monsanto claims that it has since tested 31,200 seed samples in Oregon and Washington and found no evidence of contamination—insisting there is no cause for concern in the world market.

However, researchers this week said that Monsanto’s tests are misleading and that the genetically modified gene, not yet approved for use in the U.S., will likely continue to be found in wheat seeds.

“We don’t know where in the whole chain it is,” said Carol Mallory-Smith, the weed science professor at Oregon State University who tested the initial wheat plants and determined they were the unapproved Monsanto seed.

“I don’t know how Monsanto can declare anything. We obviously had these plants in the field.”

“You introduce something into the environment, and genes move around in the environment, whether transgenic or not,” she added.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently investigating how the wheat gene, which was taken out of test fields eight years ago, is now showing up.

Monsanto claims that all of the tested seeds had been either destroyed or recovered and sent to a USDA facility in Colorado for storage.

However, David Andow, a professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota, said in an interview with Bloomberg that these claims are misleading and that the tests cited by Monsanto this week, which displayed clean wheat in the state of Washington, are shortsighted.

“Sure they tested it, but that doesn’t mean it’s all clean,” Andow said. “It just means it’s not so widespread that it could be detected easily.”

And Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, said that this is not the first time Monsanto has been less than forthcoming on the extent of its seed contamination: “In previous cases, such as during the outbreak of herbicide-resistant weeds in recent years, Monsanto has initially played down the risks.”

“The reality is that nobody knows what happened until extensive testing is done.”

Additionally, Bloomberg reported recently that even if Monsanto’s claims about this specific wheat strain were proven true, Monsanto has resumed trials of other and very similar GM wheat seeds, according to information posted in a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) database.

Monsanto planted 150 acres of GM wheat in Hawaii last year and 300 acres of GM wheat in North Dakota this year—meaning the risk of genetic pollution from unapproved Monsanto wheat is even greater than most people are aware.

Meanwhile, the discovery of the GM wheat in Oregon caused fast moving international backlash, with Japan suspending some imports of US wheat, South Korea testing all of its US wheat imports, and the EU urging its members to test some of its US wheat imports.

The extent of contamination from Monsanto’s GM wheat seeds in Oregon, let alone Hawaii and North Dakota, remain unknown.


Earth Watch Report  –  Biological  Hazards

File:CD3622-0005 - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg

English: Hallaway Dairy Farm in Delhi, New York, USA, September 1999. USDA Photo.

***Photo is  simply  a  representation of  Cattle in the  US


06.06.2013 Biological Hazard USA State of North Dakota, [Adams County] Damage level Details


Biological Hazard in USA on Thursday, 06 June, 2013 at 05:41 (05:41 AM) UTC.

North Dakota’s first case of anthrax this year has been confirmed in Hettinger County, and the state veterinarian said conditions are right for more cases. “A case of anthrax in an unvaccinated beef cow has been confirmed … near the Adams County line, the first confirmed case in the state this year,” said state veterinarian Susan Keller. “Producers should consult with their veterinarians to make sure the vaccination schedule for their animals is up to date,” she said. Beth Carlson, deputy state veterinarian, said anthrax – which is caused by a naturally-occurring bacteria – is spread when animals graze or consume forage or water contaminated with spores produced by the bacteria. With the amount of rain received in the state, Carlson said, the water will move those spores around, increasing the chances of more reports.

“Certainly, we will not be surprised if we see more cases,” she said. Carlson said if producers have had a history of anthrax in their area, they should consult with their veterinarian on vaccinations. She said the vaccine is relatively inexpensive and very effective, but needs about a week to take effect. Anthrax, however, moves rapidly and is fatal within a day of symptoms appearing. Those symptoms include labored breathing, weakness and staggering and bloody discharges from body openings after death. Carlson said each year there are some confirmed cases of anthrax in the state and it has been found in nearly every part of the state, although most frequently it occurs in the northeast, southeast and south central areas. Cattle are not the only animals susceptible, she said. Sheep, horses, bison, deer – all animals that graze – are at risk. The worst outbreak of anthrax happened in 2005 when more than 500 cattle were confirmed to have died from the disease. Carlson said the death toll was likely more than 1,000 animals, however, because in cases when single animals died, those animals were not tested for the disease.

Biohazard name: Anthrax
Biohazard level: 0/4 —
Biohazard desc.: This does not included biological hazard category.


The Global Dispatch

North Dakota top veterinarian reports first animal anthrax case of 2013

North Dakota agriculture officials is advising livestock owners to take the appropriate actions to protect their animals from the lethal bacterial disease, anthrax, after a cow turned up positive, according to a North Dakota Department of Agriculture news release June 5.

Image/Agricultural Research Service/USDA

Image/Agricultural Research Service/USDA

“A case of anthrax in an unvaccinated beef cow has been confirmed in Hettinger County near the Adams County line, the first confirmed case in the state this year,” said Dr. Susan Keller.

“Producers should consult with their veterinarians to make sure the vaccination schedule for their animals is up to date.”

Keller said effective anthrax vaccines are readily available, but that it takes about a week for immunity to be established, and it must administered annually.

Anthrax has been most frequently reported in northeast, southeast and south central North Dakota, but it has been found in almost every part of the state,” she said. “With the precipitation we have had, conditions are right for the disease to occur,” she said.

Anthrax is a pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Some of the more common herbivores are cattle, sheep, goats, horses, camels and deers.

It infects humans primarily through occupational or incidental exposure with infected animals of their skins.

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Steve Mortenson, the owner of the Trenton Water Depot in Trenton, N.D., reviews logs inside his depot on March 26.

WATFORD CITY, N.D. — In towns across North Dakota, the wellhead of the North American energy boom, the locals have taken to quoting the adage: “Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting.”

It’s not that they lack water, like Texas and California. They are swimming in it, and it is free for the taking. Yet as the state’s Bakken shale fields have grown, so has the fight over who has the right to tap into the multimillion-dollar market to supply water to the energy sector.

North Dakota now accounts for over 10 percent of U.S. energy output, and production could double over the next decade. The state draws water from the Missouri River and aquifers for its hydraulic fracturing, the process also known as fracking and the key that has unlocked America’s abundant shale deposits. The process is water-intensive and requires more than 2 million gallons of water per well, equal to baths for some 40,000 people.


As in all booms, new players race in to meet the outsized demand. At the heart of this battle is a scrappy government-backed cooperative, conceived to ensure fresh water in an area where its drinkability is compromised.

The co-op has decided to sell 20 percent of its water to frackers to help keep prices low and pay back state loans. That has not gone down well with the Independent Water Providers, a loose confederation of ranchers, farmers and small businesses that for years has supplied fracking water.

Since opening in January, the co-op has tried to limit the power of the confederation with an aggressive legal and lobbying strategy. The Independent Water Providers have fought back, arguing that the co-op shouldn’t be selling fracking water at all. The state Legislature stepped in with a law last month designed to quell the tension and nurture competition, but industry observers expect the acrimony to continue.

“When all of us had nothing (before the oil boom), there was nothing to fight about,” said Dan Kalil, a longtime commissioner in Williams County, home to many oil and natural gas wells. “Now, so many friendships have been destroyed because of water and oil.”

Jeanie Oudin, an analyst with energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, predicts the competition could push down North Dakota fracking water prices at least 10 percent in the next few years, or roughly $170,000 per well. That’s a sizeable savings in a state where fracking costs are the highest in the country (remoteness meant there was little infrastructure in place). The water accounts for 20 percent of the roughly $8.5 million it costs to drill a North Dakota oil well.

NBC News

Click on the image above for an interactive map showing where the United States produces various forms of energy.

“Regardless of where operators get their water from, the growth in active water depots should increase the availability of raw water for hydraulic fracturing and ultimately bring down costs,” Oudin said. The depots are where energy companies buy most of their fracking water.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council, a trade group for Statoil, Hess, Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil and other large energy companies, declined to comment on the fight or to forecast how much water prices could fall. The council acknowledged that it would prefer multiple sources for the state’s 8,300 wells.

Energy companies get most of their water in the state by trucking it from depots to oil and natural gas wells. Some wells require more than 650 truckloads to frack. Companies such as EOG Resources Inc and Halliburton Co are experimenting with ways to reduce their dependence on water.

Fracking water depots, which cost roughly $200,000 to build and can gross more than $700,000 per year, are typically small metal buildings on concrete slabs filled with pumps and small tanks connected to the Missouri River or local aquifers. They can have two to six hookups and fill water trucks with as much as 7,800 gallons of water per visit.


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‘Aliens’ Messed with US, Soviet Nukes – US Airmen

UFO story on the front page of the Minot Daily News on December 6, 1966
22:14 01/05/2013


WASHINGTON, May 1 (RIA Novosti) – In the midst of the Cold War on several occasions, nuclear missiles at US Air Force bases were mysteriously shut down, according to US servicemen who said they witnessed the failure of the heavily guarded missile systems.


But they don’t blame America’s Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union; they say aliens from space did it.


“This was something Russia could have developed, but it turns out they didn’t develop this and we don’t have it either – to be able to shut down nuclear weapons with a beam of light,” David Scott, a former sergeant in the US Air Force, told RIA Novosti at a conference in Washington on encounters with extraterrestrials.


Scott and three retired Air Force officers told a panel of six former members of the US Congress at the conference about their experiences with extraterrestrial “visitors” who meddled with US nuclear weapons systems.


The five-day conference, called the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, is sponsored by the UFO truth organization Paradigm Research Group and is being held in the style of Congressional hearings, with time limits for witness testimony, question and answer sessions with former members of Congress, and statements entered into the record.


About 40 international researchers, military and scientific witnesses are scheduled to testify during the conference, with some providing what they say is evidence of an alien presence on Earth. The former lawmakers listening to the testimony are each being paid $20,000 to attend the five days of hearings.


© Karin Zeitvogel


Speaking for the first time ever about his experiences some 50 years ago with extra-terrestrials, retired Air Force Capt. David Schindele told how, in the 1960s, what he is convinced were aliens knocked “all missiles” at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota “off-alert,” making them “unlaunchable.”


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More snow for Rockies and Dakotas as winter maintains its grip  April 15th, 2013 photo MoresnowforRockiesandDakotasaswintermaintainsitsgripApril15th2013b_zpsb22dd60d.jpg

More snow for Rockies and Dakotas as winter maintains its grip  April 15th, 2013b photo MoresnowforRockiesandDakotasaswintermaintainsitsgripApril15th2013_zpsf0d1324f.jpg

Many living in the Northern part of the country tonight are saying enough is enough as heavy snow and strong winds are producing blizzard like conditions and it’s not over yet. The Weather Channel’s Janel Klein reports.

Winter is still going strong in the West.

Schools were closed and the Legislature canceled its session Monday after a snowstorm broke records in North Dakota, and Wyoming and Colorado were bracing for another system that could dump as much as a foot and a half.

Almost all of Interstate 94 in North Dakota was under a no-travel advisory because of blizzard conditions, according to The Weather Channel. The IRS said it would waive late-filing fees for people in the state who could not submit their tax returns in time because of the storm.

Bismarck, the state capital, got more than 17 inches on Sunday, the largest snowfall there of any day on record.


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