Public News Service: ND Could Be Getting Stronger Pipeline Protections

Public News Service reports on what's wrong with the way some pipelines are being built in North Dakota and how it can be fixed:

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota energy officials today are poised to make some serious changes to how the state regulates its growing network of oil, wastewater and methane gas pipelines. The North Dakota Industrial Commission is deciding whether to finalize new regulations aimed at improving how the state's pipelines are built and operated.

If the new rules are approved, said Evan Whiteford, North Dakota organizer for the Laborers' International Union, the state could move from back of the pack to become a leader when it comes to protecting communities and the environment from the risks associated with oil and gas development.

"There's a lot of poor worker practices that could be fixed," he said. "With these regulations, it's going to force contractors to do things the right way instead of cutting corners. One of the biggest issues you see out here is land reclamation. The problems that you don't see are buried under the ground, and that's what's got a lot of concern going out there right now."

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