In March of this year, after a string of incidents involving radioactive post-production filter socks, one hundred 55-gallon trash bags filled with them was found at an abandoned gas station in Noonan, North Dakota. It is considered the worst case of illegal dumping in the state’s history. According to John D. Taylor of the Tioga Tribune, shortly after the gas station waste was discovered another illegal waste site was discovered north of Crosby. Prosecutors believed that the two incidents were connected. On the Crosby site they found a receipt which linked the filter socks to Zenith Produced Water, LLC, an oilfield saltwater disposal well company. Last week, the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division struck a deal with Zenith, lowering what could have been an $800,000 fine to $20,795. The Divide County Sheriff’s Deputy Zach Schroeder is angry about how the OGD handled the case, stating “The county and the city of Noonan really got hosed on this.” Zeinith does not admit to the illegal dumping. The OGD handled this case without the knowledge of any other local or state agency. To read the whole story visit the Tioga Tribune.
Filter socks are used to catch the solid silica dust waste from hydraulic fracturing. Each filter sock varies in radioactivity, ranging from 5-80 picocuries per filter. It is illegal to dispose of them in the state of North Dakota because there is no radioactive waste center. The standard fine for illegally disposing of the socks is $1,000 per sock.