The House Ag and Natural Resources Committee says South Dakota will not become a dumping ground for oil and gas production wastes. The Committee is addressing Senate Bill 59 which is designed to prohibit disposal of oil and gas byproducts on any South Dakota land. North Dakota has proposed moving their production waste into South Dakota. Lawmakers say they’re concerned that could open the flood gates to other states bringing their wastes here.
Steven Pirner is the Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He says Senate Bill 59 helps to keep South Dakota safe from potential ground, water, and wildlife contamination.
“What we want to do with the bill is to put in place the same standards, the same prohibitions that North Dakota currently has in place to deal with these oil wastes to make it a level playing field between South Dakota and North Dakota,” says Pirner.
Opponents of the bill say the legislation shuts out the possibility of landowners and counties even looking into housing production wastes as a source of economic development. Opponents say they also feel that State government is trumping local control. The Committee narrowly passed the bill with a seven-to five-vote. The bill heads next to the House Floor.