A new report by the Dakota Resource Council (DRC) outlines how oil and gas development in North Dakota has exacerbated methane and other toxic air pollution and public health issues.
Oil & Gas Pollution’s Impacts on North Dakota Families tells the stories of three residents of the Fort Berthold Reservation who have witnessed the devastating impact that methane and other pollution released by the oil and gas industry has had on their community.
The report also discusses how Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is threatening to suspend the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). The standards would reduce pollution from oil and gas activities and protect public health. Pruitt has proposed this action despite acknowledging the delay would harm on children’s health.
“The air pollution detailed in this report is, in many cases, preventable,” said Lisa DeVille, a DRC board member and one of the story tellers in the report. “No one should have to worry about living near toxic pollution that is spewing into the air like an invisible oil spill, but that is the reality thousands of North Dakotans will face if the EPA’s NSPS standards are suspended, or even worse, dismantled.”
DRC’s news release says North Dakota does not have meaningful standards for detecting and repairing leaks. The NSPS standards would curb methane emissions, smog-forming volatile organic compounds, and other toxic air pollutants in new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas sources.
“My family and all residents of the Fort Berthold Reservation and across North Dakota are already paying the price for oil and gas leaking and venting, and they will continue to do so if we get rid of these vital pollution safeguards,” DeVille said. “By threatening to suspend these crucial safeguards, Administrator Pruitt has made it perfectly clear that he’s willing to sacrifice Americans’ health all to support the bottom line of the oil and gas industry.”
The report contains FLIR photographs and links to videos of methane leaks at North Dakota oil and gas operations.
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