Target: Jack Dalrymple, Governor of North Dakota
Goal: Protect land from wastewater produced by fracking
The newest oil extraction method, known as fracking, produces significant amounts of contaminated water. The water, infused with salts and chemicals, is meant to be flushed deep into the earth into disposal wells or pipelines, away from the land and groundwater. However, accidental spills and illegal dumping have contributed to sterile farmland and polluted water systems in parts of North Dakota. With America’s farmland diminishing year by year, rich soil is hard to come by. Action must be taken to increase enforcement of illegal dumping as well as reduce the risk of wastewater pipeline spills.
The oil industry has been prominent in North Dakota for decades. The booming area of the Bakken Formation generates one million barrels of oil a day. With the area dominated by the oil industry’s obsession with production, local farmers in nearby Bottineau County are seeing the negative impacts. Spills of wastewater (known as brine or saltwater) are still in need of cleanup. The farms that did receive cleanup are still unable to produce a fertile harvest. Some spills have been neglected for decades. Since the water is ten times saltier than ocean water, such spills sterilize the land, harm native plants and wildlife, and risk contamination of precious groundwater.
Although farmers have sought assistance from officials, many dump and spill records have been doctored or completely misreported altogether. Since the state relies heavily on this industry, not many officials are willing to fight against oil’s corporate giants in enforcing the pollution. The Oil and Gas Division in the area claims spills have been reduced from tighter regulations and advanced drilling practices. However, in July 2014, one million gallons of wastewater were spilled on the Fort Berhold Indian Reservation in the western part of the state. In 2013 alone, 74 wastewater pipeline leaks spilled thousands of gallons. State officials rely on companies to clean up spills voluntarily. Caring more about money and production than future land use, the oil and gas companies in this area must be enforced and regulated.
By signing this petition, you are urging the governor of North Dakota to enforce and punish the companies responsible for contaminating the state’s land as well as reconsider the bill, which was highly opposed, to regularly monitor wastewater pipelines.
Dear Governor Dalrymple,
The popular practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in North Dakota has contaminated land by millions of gallons of spilled wastewater. Farms near the heavily fracked Bakken Formation have been permanently sterilized by illegal and irresponsible dumping of such water. High in salts and chemicals, the contaminated liquid infects and destroys local wildlife, native vegetation, and agricultural livelihood in the area.
Proper dumping of the water as well as the flow from wastewater pipelines need strict monitoring to protect local land. Please take action to regulate, enforce, and encourage companies to dispose of the toxic water safely and without the risk of spills or leaks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mark via Flickr