- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
- Family removed from Southwest flight over tweet about rude agent, dad says
- Michael Bloomberg thumbs FAA ban, plots course to Israel
- California bans full-contact football practices in off-season
- Thune: Downed fighter jets show more evidence of separatist capabilities
- Obama tells DNC fundraising crowd: ‘I’m not overly partisan’
- Chambliss: Downed jet ultimately goes back to Putin
- Perdue strategy: Run against Reid, Obama, Pelosi
- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- ‘Operation Normandy’ set to send 3,500 volunteers to border to ‘stop an invasion’
Trucks taking water for oil an issue for ND tribe
Question of the Day
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - During spring runoff on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, trucks have been spotted draining water from temporarily filled ditches along U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs roads.
Their intended use for the water and their right to take it come into question. What the tribe can do about it also is questionable.
“Water is a very important area in our program,” said Edmund Baker, environmental director for Three Affiliated Tribes, during the recent Tribal Environmental Risk Mitigation Conference in Bismarck.
One oil well takes 7 million gallons of water to drill and maintain, Baker said. He added that there are between 2,500 and 3,000 wells on the reservation.
“As long as there is a frack job occurring somewhere within the boundaries here, there has been, and will continue to be, a need for water,” he said.
Baker first started receiving reports of the trucks when he started in his position about a year ago. It occurs most visibly off the BIA roads in the Mandaree area. He believes that type of activity went on long before he took up the responsibilities.
From an environmental perspective, the concern lies in the displacement of water from natural runoff, Baker said.
The problem is not being addressed at present, but may be addressed in proposed tribal water codes, Baker said. He said the boom happened so fast the tribal regulation structure is struggling to catch up.
Water codes are being developed for the tribe by a Native American law firm, Fredericks, Peebles & Morgan, according to The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1k3IDYO ).
For the first couple of years of the boom, the state also was struggling to keep up, said Dan Farrell of the State Water Commission Water Appropriations Division.
“We have the same concerns,” Farrell said of the trucks.
In the state, companies are able to use natural water bodies as a source for water if they have a permit. Tribal lands are separate from state-controlled land.
Farrell said the commission does not have the staff to monitor the water pumping activity, so it coordinates with county sheriffs. He said the commission has received four to five reports this year of trucks illegally taking water.
Farrell said when they get a permit, truckers taking water are told to post their permit where they’re pumping. That gives them authority to withdraw state water. When the permit is issued, the company must work with landowners to get permission to be on their land.
If a company has no permit, it is considered trespassing, Farrell said. The State Water Commission responds with a cease-and-desist order and fines of up to $2,500 per day.
TWT Video Picks
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq