North Dakota environmentalist group The Dakota Resource Council initiated a campaign yesterday in an attempt to gain enough signatures on a petition to conduct a performance audit on the North Dakota Department of Health and the Department of Mineral Resources’ Oil and Gas Division. The group wishes to convince lawmakers that the audit is necessary due to these departments’ failure to enforce laws and regulations involving oilfield practices. Signatures are being gathered online.
This petition comes on the tails of an investigative report by the New York Times that accused these North Dakota organizations of catering to the oil and gas industry over the needs of citizens of the state. The Dakota Resource Council is also feuding with the North Dakota Department of Health concerning the evolution of the states’ landfill policy, specifically radioactive waste. The North Dakota Department of Health wishes to raise the limit for radioactive materials allowed in states’ landfills in order to increase the amount of oilfield waste disposed of in the state. The Dakota Resource Council wants more public forums on the matter. The North Dakota Department of Health has refused their proposal.