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Bakken Oil: An Elder Speaks To Power

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Road deterioration, accidents, noise, and the ever-present haze of dust in the air relate directly to health concerns. The "Halliburton Loophole," which exempts oil companies from some provisions of the Clean Water Act threatens already dwindling clean water supplies.  


Paragraph (1) of section 1421(d) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h(d)) is amended to read as follows:

""(1) UNDERGROUND INJECTION.--The term "underground injection'--

""(A) means the subsurface emplacement of fluids by well injection; and


""(i) the underground injection of natural gas for purposes of storage; and

""(ii) the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.''


The tribe has an environmental code click here, but social media sites on the reservation detail incident after incident of anecdotal violations by the oil companies.  

Regulations by Georgianne Nienaber
Marilyn hopes the web-based database will lists events, remediation, and enforcement.  

Sky Truth, the same organization that unraveled the truth about the amount of oil released in BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, has an alert system for complaints about environmental infractions and spills of fracking water, oil and hazardous industrial waste in the Bakken Formation. Anyone can subscribe to the alerts here, which are obtained from the National Response Center.   

The National Response Center (NRC) is the sole federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills. If you have a spill to report, contact us via our toll-free number or check out our Web Site for additional information on reporting requirements and procedures. For those without 800 access, please contact us at 202.267.2675.  The NRC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The database is user friendly.

There has been so much written and discussed about the fracking process and its threat to the continent's water supply, but there is a process that operates above ground and that is directly tied to the oil boom. The extraction of oil cannot take place without this process, but it is rarely mentioned. The process impacts health, the environment, spiritual practices, and prayerful connections to sacred lands.  

Gas Flaring is possibly the single most wasteful and polluting process connected with the Bakken Oil boom. Light and air pollution are also severing the connections between the residents of Fort Berthold and the once pristine land and sky. It is yet another questionable practice that threatens to "severe the connection between the Indian person and the land."  

Next: Bakken Oil: Red Sky at Night is Not a Spiritual Delight


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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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