North Dakota has the strongest law in the United States on restoration of mined farmland, but the state Supreme Court’s recent Coal Lake ruling threatens to make it a dead letter.
The court upheld the Public Service Commission’s decision that recreation was a “higher and better” use for 86 acres of mined land than raising crops.
The coal companies think up these alternatives and so far the PSC has given its blessing to all of them – golf courses, dirt bike tracks, shooting ranges, waste disposal pits. Adding these to what’s considered a “higher and better” use exempts the coal company from meeting farm productivity standards. Continue reading
Posted in Letters to the Editor, Opinion
Tagged 1970, 70000, agricultural land, Bakken, Bismarck, coal, Coal Lake, Dakota, Dakota Resource Council, DRC, economic, Economy, enforcement, environment, Falkirk Mine, farming, federal law, foresight, Future, Gene Wirtz, good business, government, health, history, land use, law, leaders, legislative, living, North Dakota, Oil, oil wells, one time harvest, Opinion, politics, ranching, regulation, restoration, rural land, smart, state, state law
The proposed waste site is toward the bottom of this photo, which looks west over the White Earth Valley. Photo by Terry Evans
By Laura Knudsen
Earlier this year, the North Dakota Industrial Commission approved building an oil waste treatment plant near White Earth. Tervita Corporation, formerly CCS Midstream Inc., of Canada is seeking to build the plant at the top of the White Earth Valley. The plant would treat the waste water that oil drilling brings up and separate it into solid waste, saltwater and recoverable oil.
Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics
Tagged Bakken, Canada, CCS Midstream Inc, destruction, Economy, environment, Event, foresight, Future, Industrial Coimmission, landfill, local, nature, ND, North Dakota, oil drilling, Tervita Corporation, unsustainable, waste, White Earth