Ruining our way of life

Cathy Hanson, Fortuna; Justin Hanson, Grenora

On Nov. 9, 2012, The North Dakota Industrial Commission approved a permit from SBG to drill a salt water disposal well approximately of a mile from our farmstead along highway 85. There are no other occupied farmsteads along highway 85 for 15 miles to the south of us and 4 miles to the north. In SBG’s original application to the NDIC they submitted a map of the area which had been surveyed by Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, which showed every farm within a 3 mile radius of the proposed SWD, except coincidently, our farm which is the closest farm to the proposed SWD location. SBG’s application stated that there were no known potable water wells within the mile. We hired an attorney to help us contest the NDIC. We filed a petition for denial, stating our concerns with the disposal well going in that close to our farm. In September, NDIC approved the permit and we filed for a reconsideration of petition. To our knowledge, NDIC did not go back and check over the maps or seem alarmed over any of our concerns. Just days after filing for a reconsideration, Dennis Hanson passed away. Needless to say, in October, NDIC denied the reconsideration and approved the permit.

There were issues and discrepancies with SBG’s permit. Such as, filing the correct paperwork with the Secretary of State and with proper protocol of testing of fresh water wells. We have concerns over contamination of our fresh water well which is used for both domestic and livestock use. In the event of a spill, it would destroy our water supply along with the surrounding pastures and farmland. We stated our concerns with increased traffic, noise, and of course safety in the area. NDIC states “They have no jurisdiction over traffic, safety, noise, etc.” There could potentially be up to 120 trucks in and out of this location daily. We chose this location as our home 28 years ago, for the rural lifestyle and simple way of life, as did many other landowners and neighbors. We helped make this state what it is today, and have stuck with farming and ranching through good years and some very difficult years. Before all the oil activity moved in.

Why does the NDIC even exist if it is going to approve anything and everything that is put before them, with no regard or respect to the residents that their decision is affecting. There is a lot of greed going on, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a lot of bribery and/or kick backs going on in the NDIC/Government as well. It’s time for us native residents to take a stand and stop the NDIC from ruining our way of life.