Industrial Commission Files Civil and Criminal Complaints| 7/18/2012
"We will not stand by when operators blatantly disregard our rules and regulations," said Governor Jack Dalrymple. "Continued use of an injection well after receiving notice that the well is in violation must result in strict enforcement action."
In the civil case, a salt water disposal well was allegedly used in a way that violates its permit. The case also states that the well was used after there was a notification of a violation. The total amount of fines is over $1.5 million.
In criminal case, Garber allegedly directed a service company to modify the salt water disposal well in a way that was in violation of the Commission`s rules.
"This is the first ever criminal case in conjunction with a civil complaint in the oil and gas industry in North Dakota," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. "This is the largest civil complaint ever sought against an operator. My office will vigorously prosecute this case."
"The Commission is committed to protecting our environment through the aggressive enforcement of our rules and regulations," said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. "As the number of wells continues to grow in our state we will continue to increase staffing to maintain vigilance in the oil patch."
Halek Operating has 21 days to respond to the civil complaint. A hearing on the criminal complaint is expected in a month or two.