BISMARCK—A recent Herald editorial said "we need more teeth" when it comes to enforcement of environmental laws in North Dakota ("Too little enforcement of Bakken wastewater rules," Page A4, April 30). To support this conclusion, the editorial used information from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database and a narrowly focused Duke University study. A closer review of both sources is needed before fair and accurate conclusions can be drawn.
BISMARCK—A recent Forum News Service story, "Little bite to environmental law enforcement in North Dakota," failed to paint an accurate picture of environmental protection activities in the state. The story indicated that the state lags behind the rest of the United States in enforcement actions. Using only enforcement data to judge environmental programs provides an incomplete picture of a state's environmental protection effectiveness.
Recent letters have criticized House Bill 1113 as reducing citizen rights and industrial oversight; one characterized it as "the very antithesis of open, honest and transparent government." A quick read of the bill can cause confusion, but when read as a whole with all other laws pertaining to hearings and ionizing radiation, HB 1113 does exactly the opposite of what the letter-writers assert. HB 1113 maintains notification and hearing requirements, clarifies the opportunity for appeals and increases the penalties for violations of the law.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health is charged with safeguarding public health, including the environment upon which we depend.
BISMARCK — Many North Dakotans remember when their farm families or relatives dealt with waste by chucking it into a pit or burning it in a barrel right in the yard. As time went on, we realized that these methods were not an appropriate or safe way to dispose of household or farm waste, and regulations were passed to protect the health of the public and the health of the environment.