County to Consider TENORM Apps
Friday, June 25, 2021

The Williams County Commission has two big decisions to make Tuesday when it meets to consider the applications of companies seeking permits to dispose of TENORM in local landfills.

Secure Energy and WISCO Inc. filed applications in May seeking a conditional use permit to dispose of TENORM (Technologically-Enhanced, Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Material). The requests were submitted shortly after expiration of a county moratorium that was intended to provide time to study the issue.

In response to the county's concerns, the Western Dakota Energy Association commissioned a study with AE2S Nexus to determine the scope of the issue and recommend possible solutions. The study identified the sources and amount of TENORM generated by the oil industry, as well as potential landfill disposal options in western North Dakota. WDEA formed a working group among the Big Four oil-producing counties to consider a region-wide approach, but ultimately determined that the disposal issue would require a private-sector solution. 

The Williams County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-2 to recommend denial of Secure Energy's permit request, and will hold a special meeting Monday to consider WISCO's application. The commission delayed action on WISCO's request pending a recommendation from the Round Prairie Township board where the company's existing landfill is located. The township board held a special meeting Wednesday and recommended WISCO's application be denied, although it listed no reason on the comment form it submitted. The zoning board has scheduled a special meeting Monday morning to act on WISCO's request, so both applications will appear on the county commission's June 29 agenda.

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