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Feds propose $95K fine for North Dakota firm accused of Clean Water Act violations

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Workers from Fisher Industries prepare the ground for a wall to be built on private property near El Paso, Texas in 2019. File photo for The Washington Post by Jordyn Rozensky and Justin Hamel

DICKINSON, N.D. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday, June 10, a proposed settlement with a Dickinson-based construction firm that would result in the company paying a $95,000 fine.

The announcement comes after inspections found that Fisher Sand and Gravel allegedly violated the Clean Water Act and oil spill prevention regulations at its sand and gravel facility in Glendive, Montana, near Upper Seven Mile Creek. The site is about 100 miles west of Dickinson.

The company is said to have "discharged storm water pollutants without authorization," according to an EPA public notice.

State and federal permits regulate the amount of stormwater discharge into streams, lakes and rivers and require businesses to follow a set of rules when storing oil. Fisher Sand and Gravel allegedly violated these regulations. The proposed settlement is open for public comment until June 15.

The company previously did work to comply with stormwater requirements under a consent order signed with the EPA in 2018.

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Fisher Sand and Gravel, which has received backing from President Donald Trump, secured in May a $1.3 billion contract to build 42 miles of fencing in southern Arizona along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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