The week that was

SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE The state of North Dakota will cover the cost of cleaning up the illegally dumped radioactive oil field waste found earlier this month in an abandoned building in Noonan. Officials did not provide an estimate of how much the cleanup will cost. Hundreds of used oil filter socks were dumped in the building, and as of this past week, no one knows who is responsible. Dave Glatt, chief of the North Dakota Department of Health’s environmental health section, said “Law enforcement is pursuing the responsible party but I’m not holding a lot of hope.” The entire mess is simply unacceptable. We understand the state paying for the cleanup because it needs to be done as soon as possible. But the state should not be stuck with the bill forever. This type of intentional illegal activity cannot be tolerated, especially when it threatens public safety. We hope Glatt is wrong and the responsible party is found and held accountable. The state must send a strong message that oil field companies and their employees are subject to state law just like everyone else.

SAFE, FOR NOW North Central District Judge William McLees ruled this past week that the Ward County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village can remain on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds for now, pending further court proceedings that could clarify the rights of both parties. The State Fair Association had served the historical society with an eviction notice, but McLees said he would not enforce that, nor would he dismiss the maneuver altogether. We weren’t surprised at the decision. One hearing simply isn’t adequate to gather all the information necessary to settle this dispute.