Williams County denies TENORM, company plans on returning

Published: Dec. 4, 2019 at 5:39 PM CST
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Williams County commissioners denied a Conditional Use Permit that would’ve allowed, for the first time in North Dakota, an industrial landfill to store higher levels of technologically enhanced radioactive waste.

Secure Energy has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past three years going through the approval-process to accept TENORM oilfield-waste at their 13-mile landfill near Williston. Getting Commissioners’ approval was one of its last steps in that journey.

Due to the state-wide precedent their decision sets, commissioners want time to speak with neighboring oil-producing counties on the best way to handle the situation. After denying the permit Tuesday, the County agreed to let Secure Energy re-apply in one year, and the company plans on doing so.

Kurt Rhea Secure Energy Services Corporate Radiation Safety Officer said, “Until then, I will continue to be involved educating County Commissioners throughout Western North Dakota to help them understand the complexities and the safe-guards related to TENORM disposal.”

If it’s eventually passed, most of the TENORM would be hauled from Secure Energy’s own facilities throughout North Dakota to reduce truck-traffic and save money. Rhea says the economics might not be right for the two other facilities within the state that are also interested in applying to accept the waste.

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