The Roundup -

Letter To The Editor


Dear Editor:

Radioactivity Welcomed to Montana or “Obfuscation” – to make obscure or unintelligible.

Governor Steve Bullock and his party have been considered very environmentally conscious, but it seems they are forging a new direction.

North Dakota is not currently allowing the disposal of Bakken oilfield radioactive or hazardous garbage. But the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is moving briskly to welcome a veritable torrent of those toxic materials to a site near a Sidney subdivision and rural school. Imagine having your home on a scenic plateau overlooking the Yellowstone valley, and being told you will soon live less than half mile downwind from a dump for hundreds of thousands of tons of N.D.’s radioactive/hazardous garbage.

The DEQ says they are revising regulations related to these wastes and may have something by the end of 2018. But that doesn’t help our community right now, as they are finalizing the permit process for a Sidney toxic dump. And how does the DEQ reply when repeatedly asked “Will you be allowing the dumping of any radioactive or hazardous waste materials at this site?” With an entirely straight face, they answer “No.”

“What?’ you ask. “How can they say that?” -- when that is the stated purpose of this dumpground. An internet search reveals the term “radioactive waste” is used only for nuclear power or weapons plants, not the radioactive/hazardous refuse from oil production. Word games. I had thought I was talking with the Montana DEQ but it must be the Montana Department of Obfuscation (sometimes concerned with environmental quality).

Eastern Montana desperately needs support from other Montanans to reverse this dangerous trend. This time, its Eastern Montana that is bucking these not-so ‘environmental’ bureaucrats—next time it could be your community they target.

A sincerely concerned citizen ~

John Mercer


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