FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 1, 2015
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Bismarck, ND – – Yesterday, Dakota Resource Council and the North Dakota Energy Waste Coalition submitted a joint request for records under North Dakota Open Records Law. The request pertains to the August 11, 2015 State Health Council meeting at which the allowable level of radioactive waste that can be accepted in ND landfills was raised from 5 picocuries per gram to 50 picocuries per gram, a tenfold increase.
Members of DRC and the ND Energy Industry Waste Coalition are incredulous that such a critical meeting was scheduled with less than three full business days’ notice, and are skeptical that the members of the Health Council would have been able to meet a quorum for the meeting in Bismarck with such short notice. If the members of the Health Council were given advanced notice of the public, it would be a clear violation of state open meetings law.
The August 31 request serves as a supplement to prior requests by DRC and the ND Energy Industry Waste Coalition who have a standing request for notifications of any meetings of the Health Council and a standing FOIA request for records regarding “any and all action, either anticipated or taken, in regards to the storage, levels of radioactivity, transportation and siting of facilities dealing with radioactive and other toxic waste.”
ND Energy Industry Waste Coalition Chair, Darrell Dorgan of Bismarck said of the request, “A culture of secrecy has been allowed to fester at the ND Health Department by Governor Dalrymple, Attorney General Stenehjem and legislative leaders who should be holding the agency accountable to taxpayers. Someone has to be looking out for the health and safety of future generations of North Dakotans, not bending to the whims of an industry too cheap to deal responsibly with the waste they are creating.”