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Associated Press, Published January 30 2012

Environmental activists plan attempt to strengthen ND oil rules

BISMARCK — North Dakota environmental activists want lawmakers to toughen new state oil production rules.

The rules ban companies from using open pits to dispose of liquid drilling wastes from most oil wells. They're supposed to take effect in April.

Keene rancher Donald Nelson says the liquid waste disposal pits should be banned outright. Nelson is a spokesman for the Dakota Resource Council environmental group.

Nelson says the rules should also require flow monitors on salt water disposal lines. He says that would result in faster detection of pipeline leaks, and could head off huge salt water spills.

North Dakota's Industrial Commission has approved the rules, but they still need a review from a legislative committee.

Nelson says the Dakota Resource Council will enlist sympathetic lawmakers to push to toughen the rules.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.