Town Expresses Mixed Feelings About Illegal Dumping - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Town Expresses Mixed Feelings About Illegal Dumping

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The illegal dumping of radioactive material generated by the Bakken oil boom is becoming a problem. Last month thousands of pounds of contaminated oil socks near Arnegard in McKenzie County. The publicity from that incident has triggered another investigation by the health department this time in Noonan.

This auto garage has been abandoned for three years, but now it's attracting lots of attention.
Crime scene tape has been stretched across the outside of the building and no one is being allowed inside.

"I do know that from talking to the department of health they would like to have the area fenced not just the crime scene tape," says Jody Gunlock of Divide County Emergency.

Gunlock says over 200 plastic garbage sacks containing contaminated oil filter socks are being illegal stored in the building.

"If somebody were to handle this stuff and get it in their system it would cause problems for you," she says.

Gunlock also says high exposure can cause sterility, blood disorders and possibly cancer, but there should no concerns, unless someone goes into the building.

"We've told people to stay out," says Gunlock. "We've got crime scene tape around it. We do not want people to go in there to look or take pictures to handle it."

Approximately 120 people live in Noonan, but not many are overly concerned of the illegal dumping of radioactive material in their town.

"The town is not overly concerned. They are worried about it being cleaned and taken out of here, but their not overly concerned," says Barry Eide of Noonan.

The mayor of Noonan however, is very upset about the illegal dumping of radioactive waste in the town.

Gunlock says North Dakota does not allow radioactive material to be disposed of in landfills so hazardous material must be shipped out of state. He says to prevent illegal dumping in the future the department of health needs to track oil socks from where they are generated all the way through the handling, transportation and disposal process.

After the oil socks are moved from the site the entire building will probably have to be leveled and disposed of to prevent residual contamination.

The fine for the illegal disposing of the $2,000 to $4,0000, but oil socks at the Noonan site could possibly top $400,000.

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