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Krautter Calls For Legislation To Protect Richland County And Montana From Becoming A Dumping Ground For Other States' Radioactive Waste

Guest Opinion

 

March 14, 2018 | View PDF

On Wednesday night, March 7, I attended the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) meeting regarding the Yellowstone Disposal landfill, being proposed 4 miles southeast of Sidney and in close proximity to many family residences.

During the Public Comment portion of the meeting I outlined my opposition to the project, in its proposed state, due to the many unanswered questions, the potential for harm it poses to our area and its location in relation to family residences. I said I didn't want Richland County to become a dumping ground for North Dakota waste.

In the past few days I've spoken with Mayor Rick Norby and other concerned citizens about the issue. The general consensus from these talks is that we may see even more permits for landfills like this one to take North Dakota waste, unless there is legislation to protect Richland County and eastern Montana from becoming a dumping ground for oilfield waste that other states don't want.

Based on the comments I've heard from concerned area citizens, if elected to the Montana House of Representatives on June 5th, I will look at legislation that will try to protect our area from becoming a dumping ground. I also understand the DEQ is in the process of developing rules for landfills and I will keep the pressure on them to get that done.

The most disturbing comment I heard at the DEQ meeting was that all of the DEQ inspectors of landfills like this are based in Helena and that a landfill like this would only be checked twice a year. If DEQ is seriously going to consider approving this permit (which I think would be a dangerous mistake), I think the issues of the long distance from inspectors and infrequent inspections needs to be specifically addressed, preferably with local oversight, to ensure compliance.

 

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