- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - In the wake of a lawsuit, North Dakota’s State Health Council will redo an August 2015 meeting during which it approved new rules for radioactive waste.

Environmental groups sued in April, alleging the meeting was held illegally, The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/29V4CUr ) reported. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem had issued an opinion in March saying the council violated state law by not providing adequate notice of the meeting.

The North Dakota Energy Industry Waste Coalition and the Dakota Resource Council want a judge to void the new rules that allow certain landfills to accept waste with higher levels of radioactivity.

At the redo meeting on Aug. 9, the State Health Council, which is a citizens’ advisory board to the State Health Department, will “consider ratifying” all of the decisions it made in August 2015, said Londa Rodahl, the council’s secretary. At that meeting, it had approved new rules to allow up to 50 picocuries of radioactive material to be disposed in North Dakota.

Plaintiff’s attorney Sarah Vogel said the council knows it’s going to lose the case and is holding a meeting to make the lawsuit unnecessary as well as to possibly avoid paying the other sides’ attorney fees.

Vogel said it’s unclear whether citizens will be allowed to comment at the meeting though residents in the western oil patch are affected by the new rules. Her case is supported by statements from McKenzie County residents who say they would’ve spoke on the proposed radioactive rules if they’d had enough notice to attend the meeting.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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