North Dakota State Agencies Must Meet Their Public Trust Responsibilities
Members of the Dakota Resource Council are asking our friends and neighbors to join us in calling for an audit of the Oil and Gas Division of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources and the North Dakota Department of Health. Although these agencies have biennial performance audits, we want a full independent audit to prove or disprove unethical decisions made in reference to oil and gas development policy. It is our demand for full transparency and accountability for these agencies’ failure to enforce laws and rules regarding oil field practices.
- 90% of fines have been waived for egregious violations such as spills, illegal dumping, water contamination and other disregard of state law
- Lack of ability (or will) to track proper disposal of used filter socks and radioactive waste produced by oil companies
- Department of Mineral Resources promoted unitization schemes that benefitted oil companies at the expense of North Dakota mineral and land owners
- State regulators violated public trust to protect the health, safety, water, land and livelihoods of North Dakotans by putting the immediate benefits to the oil industry ahead of all else
- Lackadaisical response to “salt water” spills that have destroyed North Dakota aricultural lands
Founded in 1978, Dakota Resource Council is a statewide, multi-issue organization bringing together farmers, ranchers, small business owners, workers and other North Dakotans to address issues that affect their lives and livelihoods.
See two-part series from New York Times investigation on corruption and lack of regulation in North Dakota.
We, the undersigned, have critical concerns about the health of North Dakota’s people, property, and effective governance. We are calling for an independent performance audit to determine whether the Oil and Gas Division of the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Health, and their directors, field and office staffs have:
a. Performed their public trust, statutory and rule based duties;
b. Have adequate training, resources, and staff to perform those duties;
c. Have adopted and observed appropriate codes of ethics.