Weather modification policies in North Dakota could change due to House bill

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 1:21 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KUMV) - Procedures for cloud seeding in North Dakota could see some new changes due to proposed legislation.

House Bill 1166 would require seeding to stop once the core of the storm crosses a township that borders a county that doesn’t seed.

It would also prohibit state funds from being used for weather modification, meaning the county would have to cover the full cost. The bill would also require a ballot vote to extend the program when it’s set to expire.

“So this would say instead of the county commission doing it, it’s the vote of the people. The reason for that is because the county commission doesn’t always know what their constituents want,” said Rep. Matthew Ruby, R-Minot.

Currently, extending the program requires a majority vote from county commissioners. Williams, McKenzie, Mountrail, Bowman, and part of Slope Counties are the only ones who participate in the program.

The bill passed the house and currently sits in the Senate Agriculture Committee.