EDF applauds North Dakota Industrial Commission for swift response to alleged waste disposal incident

August 2, 2013
Lauren Whittenberg, (512) 691-3437, lwhittenberg@edf.org

(BISMARCK, N.D.) Environmental Defense Fund commends the North Dakota Industrial Commission for quick action in responding to an oil field waste dumping incident that may have contaminated water supplies in Stark County. Halek Operating ND LLC allegedly disposed of salt water, a byproduct of oil production, in an injection well not up to state standards. On Wednesday, the commission levied the largest civil penalty ever issued – $1.5 million – for an oil and gas violation against Halek. Credit goes to Lynn Helms, Director of the Mineral Resources Department for his leadership in taking the necessary steps quickly to protect the water resources of North Dakota. Criminal penalties are appropriate if Halek is convicted of violating the law. Gross violations of public trust should be met with zero tolerance.

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