The week that was

A WELCOME SITE The North Dakota Health?Department is doing the right thing be creating a website that will list all spills of oil and other hazardous materials dating back to 1975. The announcement last week came as details continue to emerge from a 20,000-barrel crude oil spill near Tioga.?That spill wasn’t immediately reported to the public. The Associated Press also reported that some 300 pipeline spills have happened over the years in North Dakota, and many of those spills have gone unreported to the public. Granted, some of the spills were very small, but that’s still unacceptable. The public should be informed of all such spills. Officials said the website would offer details on locations of spills, how much material spilled and how it was impacting the area around it. The site should be live in roughly two weeks, according to Dave Glatt, chief of the health department’s environmental health section. That’s good news for North Dakotans who want to keep a watchful eye on energy companies. It’s good for such companies to know that they are under an obligation to conduct business in a responsible manner considering the potential negative impact on the overall well-being of our state’s outdoor heritage.

BRIDGE WORK We’re glad the city council’s Public Works and Safety Committee recommended that the flood-damaged Victoria Pedestrian Bridge should be repaired. The bridge, along with the nearby bridge that spans the Souris River and the railroad tracks, provide valuable access to pedestrians who wish to avoid the traffic on Broadway and Third Street. There is much work to be done, including replacing the south abutment, structual work and other repairs before the Victoria bridge can be put back into place and reopened, but we’re glad the committee recognizes the value of these bridges.