Duke University Conducts Water Contamination Study in ND

A study recently released by Duke University says waste water spills from oil production in North Dakota has caused widespread water and soil contamination.

Researchers studied four spills and claim to have found high levels of toxic contaminants in water and soil samples.

The state's health department says of the 3,900 spills listed, only one to two percent were long-term cleanups.

Both sides agree that that brine water spills need to be taken seriously.

"I think it's important to raise awareness that those spills are so much distributed all over the place and they need to do something about it and not just leave it at the site," says Dave Glatt, North Dakota Department of Health.

"They took those four sites and inferred all the sites in North Dakota fall under the same blanket and that's not true. What we have learned when we deal with produced water is that if you get out there quickly, clean it up quickly and contain it you minimize the environmental impact," says Anver Vengosh, Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University.

Glatt says the researchers from Duke never contacted the health department about their findings.