tenor meeting nov 19 2019

Kurt Rhea, at the podium, talks about Secure Energy’s 13 Mile Landfill in Blacktail Township during the Nov. 19 regular session of the Williams County Board of Commissioners. The matter will be considered again during the Dec. 3 regular session.

Williams County Commissioners will be taking up the matter of an amended conditional use permit for a special waste landfill facility that seeks to become the first in the state licensed to handle TENORM waste. The regular session is 8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 in the Commissioners meeting room.

Secure Energy Services requested the amended special use permit for its 13 Mile Landfill in Blacktail Township. Approval of it will be required for the company to qualify for a state license and permit to handle low-level radioactive wastes.

The matter was tabled during the Nov. 19 regular session, pending review of additional restrictions submitted by the Braaten law firm, which is representing the Borrud Family Farm and other families living in the area.

The additional requirements were taken from two independent analyses of a proposed TENORM facility in McKenzie County. Among them is an engineering analysis of the liner for the pits, which would then go back to county commissioners for their review before being approved.

Additional requirements for the conditional use permit that the families are asking for include:

• The facility must demonstrate compliance with public dose limits for radiation, using sampling and analysis that show the offsite public radiation dose. This sampling would include air, water, and food pathways.

• Analysis of 10 percent of an incoming load of production waste for at least eight radiation components on at least six sides of the load. Wastes must be held in a temporary storage area until additional analyses are performed to verify the waste is acceptable. Once results are satisfactory for all samples of a specific waste production line, the sampling frequency could be reduced to 1 percent.

• Construction of all cells with a synthetic impermeable liner. These would be certified in writing by a third-party, registered professional engineer. The engineer would be present during on-site during construction to conduct field tests and observe the collection samples for laboratory analysis. These materials would be submitted to Williams County for review, comment and acceptance of the new cell prior to waste being placed in it.

• Segregation of stormwater from contact with the waste in a lined retention pond with a depth gauge. Stormwater could not be used for dust mitigation.

• Use of personal dosimeters in addition to personal protective equipment while radioactive waste is accepted at the facility, as well as required training on the use of this safety gear.

• Compliance with state and federal laws.

The conditions would not require Williams County to analyze and monitor the data, nor would the county need to hire any experts to enforce the restrictions, Braaten attorneys said in a letter to commissioners. Rather, the data would simply ensure that Borrud Family Farms and other area residents can bring their own action to abate a nuisance if necessary.

Kurt Rhea, representing Select Energy Services, told commissioners he will meet with the law firm, to see if an agreement can be reached, as the company already meets or exceeds many of the additional restrictions that the families are asking for.

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