Tag: Governor Doug Burgum

Burgum Disappointed in Vote on BLM Flaring and Venting Rule

BISMARCK – Governor Doug Burgum released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate voted 51-49 to reject a resolution of disapproval for the Bureau of Land Management’s “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation” rule, commonly known as the flaring and venting rule.

“I’m extremely disappointed that the Senate failed to revoke the intrusive, one-size-fits-all BLM flaring rule,” Burgum said. “This duplicative rule intrudes on our state’s authority to regulate oil and gas waste on state and privately owned lands, creating confusion over jurisdictional boundaries while not fully acknowledging the tremendous progress North Dakota and the industry have made to reduce flaring.

Allowing the BLM rule to remain in place will have detrimental impacts on a significant portion of oil and gas operations on public lands and on North Dakota’s economy as a whole. We thank Sen. Hoeven for his vote in support of the resolution and hope for future action to repeal the rule.”

North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana filed a legal challenge to the rule immediately after it was published in the Federal Register last November. A district court judge subsequently denied all of the petitioners’ motions for preliminary injunctions, which allows for the rule to go into effect. However, a March 2017 executive order from President Trump directs the Secretary of the Interior to review the rule and if possible, suspend, revise or rescind the BLM rule.

Burgum also expressed his strong support for using the Congressional Review Act to repeal the rule in a letter sent in February to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation.

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Officials Encourage Producers to Monitor Flood Threats

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is encouraging farmers and ranchers in northeast and north central North Dakota to monitor conditions and evaluate their operations for potential flood impacts that could affect livestock and other property.

Rivers and streams in northeast North Dakota are expected to crest this weekend. National Weather Service data indicates snow melt with a significant rain event could create overland or increased river and stream flooding.

Goehring suggests all producers take a few moments during their spring preparations to plan the movement of their livestock, and review the locations of feed, stored grain, chemicals and equipment both inside and outside of storage buildings. He also encourages producers to be aware of roads susceptible to floodwaters that could limit emergency travel and access to livestock or stored grain.

“Producers in flood watch or warning areas should monitor forecasts closely, identify steps to minimize impacts to their livestock and property, and keep accurate documentation, including dates and photographs of impacted property,” Goehring said.

River flow forecasts show the potential to impact agricultural operations, including the potential to cut off farmsteads. Governor Doug Burgum has also issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Walsh County based a potential record flooding of the Park River.

“Make sure that your weather radios and communication equipment are in good working order and monitor the radio for new forecasts,” he said.

Governor Burgum and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Discuss Clean-Up Plan

BISMARCK – Governor Doug Burgum and Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II had a lengthy telephone conversation about ongoing efforts to clean up and vacate the Dakota Access Pipeline opposition camp on federal land managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in southern Morton County:

  • Gov. Burgum and Chairman Archambault discussed their mutual understanding of the importance of evacuating and cleaning up the main Oceti Sakowin camp to protect human life and prevent contamination of the land and the Cannonball and Missouri rivers in the likely event of flooding.
  • The chairman and governor also discussed coordinated efforts by the tribe, state and county to remove garbage, structures, vehicles and other debris from the main camp. More than 230 truckloads had been hauled out as of Monday.
  • Both leaders stressed the importance of keeping open lines of communication, including a one-page flyer that will be distributed at the traffic control point south of the camp. Among other information, the flyer reminds people that the main camp will be evacuated at 2 p.m. Wednesday and re-entry will not be allowed, per the governor’s evacuation order and the Army Corps of Engineers’ eviction notice.
  • Gov. Burgum informed Chairman Archambault that the Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806 has been repaired and emergency vehicles are being allowed through a checkpoint south of the bridge. The governor noted that a Standing Rock ambulance was unable to pass through the checkpoint Sunday because of protester activity blocking the highway.

Meanwhile, the North Dakota Department of Human Services, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and the North Dakota Department of Health have partnered to set up a travel assistance center. This free service will provide protesters with support as they prepare for their return home.

The transportation assistance center will offer personal kits, water and snacks, health/wellness assessments, bus fare for a return trip home, a food voucher, hotel lodging for one night, and a taxi voucher to the bus terminal.

Transportation will be provided from the protest camp to the assistance center. All camp residents are encouraged to take advantage of these amenities.

The Floods Are Coming!

BISMARCK –  Residents and businesses across North Dakota are still clearing snow, after the historic storms of late 2016, and early January. However, after the hardship this winter weather has brought us, we still have to brace ourselves for the impending floods this spring.

Heavy snowpacks surrounding cities located by rivers, such as Fargo, Minot, and Jametown,  have a limited amount of time to prepare, as warmer weather and sunshine slowly begins to creep in.

Massive floods have destroyed many areas along the Red River, Missouri, Souris  River, as well as the Knife River and James River over the last decade, with very little time after snow cleanup, to sandbag and hold flood plains.

Governor Doug Burgum even warned protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline in his State of the State address of the risk, “..the main protest camp is located directly in the floodplain of the Cannonball-Missouri River confluence. Given the snowfall we’re having this winter and historic data on the Cannonball River, that camp will likely flood in early March.”

However, weather observers in the area caution that it may not be as disastrous as predicted, depending on conditions, such as water levels, soil conditions, and how fast the snow melts in the spring.

“It is absolutely not a slam dunk that we’re going to see widespread flooding on any river basin, whether it’s the Souris River Basin, or the Heart, or the Cannonball, or the Knife River- none of them have a guaranteed flood,” said  Allen Schlag with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. “What we still have is plenty of time to see this very impressive snow pack disappear to sublimation, or in the springtime, maybe we’ll have a melt condition where we see it run off very slowly over the course of two or three weeks, as opposed to two or three days.”

Everyone is encouraged to be prepared none the less, following our recent history with flooding in the last decade. Please bookmark this page for future flood information: National Weather Service North Dakota Flooding

[Filed by Piper Combs]