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This handout photo from the Three Affiliated Tribes shows radioactive filters illegally dumped on the Fort Berthold reservation.

Dunn County Commission rejects energy waste landfill

MANNING, N.D. — The Dunn County Commission has rejected for the time being a company’s application to build a landfill to accept energy industry waste, though the matter could surface again.

Neighbors of the proposed facility near Killdeer and a tributary of the Little Knife River worried about possible environmental harm and an impact on property values. Many showed up at Wednesday’s commission meeting wearing orange shirts that said “We are Dunn County,” KXMB-TV reported.

“What we’re trying to do as landowners and neighbors is stand up for each other,” Linda Kittilson said.

Green Group Holdings vice president Oscar Allen said fears of harm from the landfill were unfounded.

“We have got a very robust ground water protection system as well as a monitoring system,” he said, adding that opposition amounts to “a fear of the unknown.”

Commissioners decided there were still too many unanswered questions about the project and rejected the application. However, Green Group Holdings can reapply in four months. The company didn’t immediately make its plans known.

“We’re disappointed,” Allen said. “We thought we had done a pretty good job of actually answering the public’s questions. Unfortunately, I guess we didn’t get to the people we needed to speak to.”

The issue of energy waste landfills has been simmering for months in Dunn County, which is in the heart of the western North Dakota oil patch.

Residents last month lost their battle to gain more control over the location of such landfills, when the commission refused to reinstate an old zoning rule that said landfills couldn’t be approved without the permission of 60 percent of landowners within a half mile of the proposed facility. Commissioners said the rule was changed last summer to prevent pitting neighbors against one another.

In related news, Public to discuss ND’s radioactive waste problem.

Information from: KXMB-TV, http://www.kxnet.com

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.