McLean County Votes on Solid Waste Landfill - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

McLean County Votes on Solid Waste Landfill

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The McLean County Courtroom was packed with community members debating the pros and cons of a proposed solid waste landfill.  But instead of a jury, it was the county commissioners who had to listen to compelling arguments from both the public and the company, Great River Energy.

"We will not allow any regulated radioactive or toxic waste in that facility, period. We live here too," said Vice President Greg Ridderbusch, GRE Business Development and Strategy.

Ridderbusch pleaded with commissioners to allow GRE to convert an old fly ash landfill site to a solid oil waste disposal site. Previously, companies were burying the drill cuttings at each individual well site. But in April of this year, the Department of Mineral Resources prohibited it.  So now, disposal sites are in high demand.

But community members say they are concerned.

"We do not know what the future of this crap that they are going to put upstream from my place is going to be," said Henry Thingvold, Underwood.

"Accidents happen. Great River, I think, does try to run a good job. But accidents happen. And we are biting off a big chunk here of responsibility. If you folks okay it, 100 years from now we will know," said Mick Johnson, Underwood.

"There is a cost that you will endure, not them, you. You will endure this. So I would say to the county commissioners here to vote in favor of protecting your land and to deny this permit," said Theodora Birdbear, Mandaree.

Commissioners were also concerned because the site would bring in about 30 additional trucks every day.

"Statistically, no it is not a lot of traffic. It is not a huge increase, but I do think that any increase is a significant risk," said commission chairman Steve Lee.

Commissioners said it was a difficult decision. But after hearing overwhelming negative feedback from community members and having environmental concerns, commissioners voted 2-1 to deny the project.

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