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Cathy Hanson and Justin Hanson, Published April 13 2013

Letter: Greed, bribery in NDIC?

On Nov. 9, 2012, the North Dakota Industrial Commission approved a permit from SBG to drill a salt water disposal well about a quarter of a mile from our farmstead along Highway 85. There are no other occupied farmsteads along Highway 85 for 15 miles to the south of us and four miles to the north.

In SBG’s original application to the NDIC, they submitted a map of the area that had been surveyed by Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson. It showed every farm within a three-mile radius of the proposed SWD, except coincidently, our farm, which is the closest farm to the proposed SWD location. SBG’s application stated that there were no known potable water wells within the quarter mile. We hired an attorney to help us contest the NDIC. We filed a petition for denial.

In September, the NDIC approved the permit and we filed for a reconsideration of petition. To our knowledge, the NDIC did not go back and check over the maps or seem alarmed over our concerns. Just days after filing for a reconsideration, Dennis Hanson passed away. Needless to say, in October, the NDIC denied the reconsideration.

There were issues and discrepancies with SBG’s permit, such as filing the correct paperwork with the secretary of state and with proper protocol of testing of fresh water wells. We have concerns over contamination of our fresh water well, which is used for both domestic and livestock use. In the event of a spill, it would destroy our water supply along with the surrounding pastures and farmland. We stated our concerns with increased traffic, noise and, of course, safety in the area.

The NDIC states they “have no jurisdiction over traffic, safety, noise, etc.” There could potentially be up to 120 trucks in and out of this location daily. We chose this location as our home 28 years ago for the rural lifestyle and simple way of life, as did many other landowners and neighbors. We helped make this state what it is today and have stuck with farming and ranching through good years and some very difficult years – before all the oil activity moved in.

Why does the NDIC even exist if they are going to approve everything that is put before them, with no regard to or respect for the residents whom their decision is affecting? There is a lot of greed going on and it wouldn’t surprise us if there was a lot of bribery and/or kickbacks going on in the NDIC/government, as well. It’s time for us native residents to take a stand and stop the NDIC from ruining our way of life.


Cathy Hanson, Fortuna, N.D., and son Justin Hanson, Grenora, N.D., are family of the late Dennis Hanson.