Montana, North Dakota lawmakers to collaborate on radioactive oilfield waste problem

The debate over how to dispose of the Bakken’s radioactive oilfield waste has prompted a small group of lawmakers from North Dakota and Montana to start collaborating.

The conversations come as Montana prepares to enact a formal rule capping the radiation level of oilfield waste disposed of at landfills in the state. Much of the waste comes from North Dakota, where several projects are in the works to inject the material underground for permanent storage in McKenzie County. North Dakota has no disposal facilities.

“I felt that we needed to actually shake hands with North Dakota as legislators and ensure that both sides were looking at the same exact issues,” said Rep. Steve Gunderson, a Republican from Libby, Mont.