BISMARCK – Two resolutions pertaining to the impacts of oil on the environment on the Fort Berthold Reservation failed in the North Dakota State House Friday.
House Concurrent Resolution 3029 would have directed legislative management to study whether the Fort Berthold Reservation should have stand-alone ambient air quality monitors to track and mitigate air and water pollution that may result in oil and gas development.
House Concurrent Resolution 3028 would have directed legislative management to study the environmental impacts of oil, hydraulic fracturing sand, and more within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Berthold Reservation.
The House Energy and Natural Resources committee gave both bills a Do Not Pass recommendation.
“There’s a lot of concerns, a lot of things that are going on,” said Rep. Jason Dockter, R-Dis. 7, Bismarck. “But the state has no jurisdiction on the air quality and the water pollution. The federal EPA and the tribal EPA have the authority to deal with these issues.”
“At present there are no permanent air quality monitors on Fort Berthold Reservation, despite the fact that we have widespread oil and gas development throughout the reservation,” said the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Lisa Finley-Deville, D-Dis. 4A, Newtown. “I have a background in environmental science, and many days I see signs of poor air quality. Without data we do not know what is in the air. I am in no way against oil and gas development.”
HCR3026 failed by a vote of 74 to 15, and HCR3028 failed by a vote of 72 to 17.