Health & Environment

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Work on the design for the proposed Red River Valley Water Supply project continues.

And soon the question will be – how to pay for the one billion dollar project.

As proposed, it would bring Missouri River water to the Red River Valley in times of drought. Easements have to be obtained, pipes and intakes have to be built, and partnerships with counties and cities along the route are being sought.

After the planning process is complete, the project’s directors will have to come back and present its financing proposals to state lawmakers.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Backers of a plan to bring Missouri River water to the Red River Valley in times of drought say they may be able to take the water from the existing McClusky Canal, instead of a proposed intake near Washburn.

It’s a billion dollar project. But the project's backers say they will be able to save some money using the Canal option.

"You go with McClusky, you save $171 million," Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney told the Legislature's interim Water Topics Committee. "That's why we want to do that."

Prepping for a new state cabinet agency

Jul 11, 2017
State Health Dept.

The State Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health is preparing to become its own separate agency.

The 2017 Legislature created the framework for a Department of Environmental Quality.

But before the Agency can be established, there's work to do.

"We need to give a submittal to the (federal) EPA," said Division director Dave Glatt. "We have to show EPA the organization is not going to change."

After that, Glatt said the Department will start getting name changes in uts administrative rules.

Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing an update to the water control plan for Lake Audubon.

The Corps’ concern is the Snake Creek Embankment – on US Highway 83 between Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea.

Potential problems with the embankment emerged after the drought in the early 2000s.

"During that time, we saw a record level of difference between the water surfaces of Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon," said Corps project manager Matt Nelson. He said the water pressure from Lake Audubon on the embankment was much more than the dam was designed for.

Hog farm dispute before ND Supreme Court

Jun 23, 2017

A landowner group believes the state Health Department did not have the authority to grant a proposed hog farm near Buffalo an animal feeding operations permit.

Rolling Green Family Farms was granted an "animal feeding operation permit." Concerned Citizens of Buffalo argues Rolling Green needs a different – and more strict – permit. The group also said the Health Department should have re-opened a public comment period after Rolling Green amended the application.

The mayors of Bismarck, Mandan and Lincoln have launched an effort they say will lead to healthier communities.

The “Gold Star Community Task Force” will look at addiction and behavioral health issues facing the area.

"I have a cousin who is an emergency room physician, and he had been pinging me about what he's seeing, and what he thought the city's responsibilities were," said Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary, who is spearheading the effort. "I said to myself, 'We need to be more pro-active.'"

25% of North Dakota in 'moderate drought'

Jun 2, 2017

The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL. Edit | Remove

The latest US Drought monitor now shows about a quarter of North Dakota is in a moderate drought.

Flu season approaches

Sep 27, 2016

Flu season is nearly upon us.

Already, clinics and pharmacies are offering flu vaccine.

This year’s vaccine has changed.

"They've changed the 'A' strain vaccine, because of what is circulating in the southern hemisphere," said state Health Department infuenza coordinator Jill Baber. "They've also switched which influenza 'B'  is in the trivalent vaccine."

Baber said there are two types of the 'B" strain. She said both are in the quadrovalent vaccine.

With school starting, the North Dakota Health Department is reminding parents to make sure their children’s vaccines are up to date.

"When you;re in a school, you have a situation where a vaccine-preventable disease could be introduced," said Health Department Epidemiologist Lexie Barber. "If kids aren't up to date on their vaccinations, that disease can spread quickly throughout that school."

West Nile Virus Nearing Peak Season For Activity

Jul 27, 2016

Officials with the State Health Department say the recent reports of West Nile Virus among humans is following the normal pattern for the disease this summer in North Dakota. Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports...

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