Williston Herald, Williston, April 2, 2014
In growing region, landfills can't be ignored
One thing we have all learned over the last few years is dealing with the changes brought on by the explosive growth in the region is not easy when playing catch up.
Whether it's roads, housing, law enforcement or basic infrastructure, the city and county governments have struggled to meet the ever-growing demands due to a population that has doubled in the last five years.
Twice in the last week, local governments have addressed an issue that will continue to be a concern in the future. Last week, the Williston City Commission approved a request from City Engineer Robert Hanson to pay for the expansion of the city landfill.
The commission agreed to spend around $350,000 to expand the landfill, which would likely be full in two or three years without more space.
On Tuesday, the county commission heard a request to allow a new landfill to be built in the county. The private landfill would be used for residential garbage, some oilfield waste, construction materials and more.
The company asking for permission to build the landfill had a simple argument — more landfill space will be needed in the near future and the county must act now to be able to meet the future needs.
After debating the issue for well more than an hour, commissioners voted against the request. But even in doing so, the county officials admitted more landfills will be needed in the near future.
Landfills are not an easy decision politically. The reality is no one wants even the cleanest landfill near their property. Every request is bound to meet some opposition. By saying no, commissioners made the smart move politically.
We are not here to say either the city commission or county commission made the right choice.
But we do want to remind the elected officials that landfill space will be needed and deciding whether to build one is a decision that can't be put off for long.
The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, April 3, 2014
Horizon's response responsible
Horizon Oilfield Services has been granted a continuance on its request to establish a saltwater disposal well just outside the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The delay will allow officials from Horizon to meet with those concerned about the impact of locating the well so close to the park.
Few would want to see a drilling rig or well site overlooking the national park. We hope discussions among Horizon, the National Park Service and the Badlands Conservation Alliance will lead to a practical alternative, one that preserves the park's viewshed and serves Horizon's needs.
An earlier proposed encroachment on Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch was resolved last fall through negotiations of this kind. It provides a road map of sorts for the positive resolution of the present issue.
The response from Horizon CEO George Tingo, to pull back and start a conversation, is positive.