April 4, 2011

Open letter addressing spills, impacts from oil and gas development

Open letter addressing spills, impacts from oil and gas development
By THEODORA BIRD BEAR
SPECIAL TO THE
NEW TOWN NEWS
I am concerned about the potential impacts from toxic hydraulic fracturing fluid spilled by oil trucks. After a very severe winter, the roads are clear and the volume of truck traffic has been increasing. Unfortunately, there is more and more evidence of routine truck spills now.
On March 14, I happened to be driving west on BIA Route 12 in Mandaree and saw yet another continuous spill of fluid on the highway for several miles. I caught up to a convoy of oil trucks and heavy machinery. As the attached photo clearly shows, an oil truck was spilling a large volume of fluid on the highway in this incident.
This is only one of a few known spills in Mandaree. Reportedly, there have also been recent larger spills at Skunk Bay, Moccasin Creek, and near the immediate Mandaree area. How many more go unseen? Unreported? Appeals have been made to the BIA and BLM to monitor and enforce any federal regulations which may protect federal lands and human health.
Both the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have trust responsibilities to individual Indians. The Fort Berthold BIA Environmental Specialist was notified of this spill incident. He was also notified of other known spills on BIA Route 12 last month. A detailed description of this spill and the photo was also sent to BLM in Dickinson.
 


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