Disposal well operator faces civil, criminal chargesThe North Dakota Industrial Commission is pursuing its largest civil case and its first ever criminal case against an oil and gas operator accused of breaking environmental protection rules.
By: By Amy Dalrymple, Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun
The North Dakota Industrial Commission is pursuing its largest civil case and its first ever criminal case against an oil and gas operator accused of breaking environmental protection rules.
A civil complaint alleges that Halek Operating ND LLC operated a salt water disposal well near Dickinson, N.D., in violation of its permit. The complaint also alleges that Halek used the disposal well after being notified of a violation. The complaint seeks more than $1.5 million in fines.
A criminal complaint charges Nathan Garber of Executive Drilling LLC with a Class C felony. The case alleges that Garber knowingly directed a service company to modify the salt water disposal well in a way that violated Industrial Commission rules.
The rule violations put freshwater zones at risk.
“It’s a very serious violation and it needs to be dealt with in a very serious manner,” said Lynn Helms, state director of mineral resources.
Halek Operating has 21 days to respond to the civil complaint.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said Garber is believed to be in Texas and officials will attempt to extradite him to North Dakota.
Check back for more on this story.
Amy Dalrymple is a Forum Communications Co. reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 580-6890.