Stopping illegal dumping

A truck driver has been charged with illegally dumping oil drilling waste material that included salt water.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said, “The state will not hesitate to bring criminal and civil actions when we learn of instances of illegal dumping.”

That’s good, and we hope the case involving Black Hills Trucking Inc. employee Leo Slemin isn’t the last one brought against those who disregard the state’s laws.

Slemin is accused of dumping salt water from the truck he was driving in February, according to Stenehjem’s office. The action was witnessed by an inspector with the Department of Mineral Resources. Slemin is due in court next week, and faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Stenehjem’s office pointed out that the alleged incident took place in an area of Williams County where there have been several reports of illegal oil field waste dumping.

There are likely other companies and employees engaging in illegal dumping activities, too. Perhaps convicting and sentencing Slemin to jail would also put others on notice that they will suffer similar consequences if they are caught. Let’s hope so.