Health & Environment | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Health & Environment

A number of landowners near the west-end outlet of Devils Lake say the outlet is leaking.

And they may have to take the state Water Commission to court because of it.

The landowners say leaks were first detected shortly after the outlet became operational, in 2007.

The issue came up at the most recent Water Commission meeting.

"They (landowners) are suffering damage from the operation of the outlet," Cando attorney J. Bruce Gibbons represents some of the landowners. "There's been seepage from that outlet over onto their land, affecting their crops."

Cass County considering opioid lawsuit

Jun 21, 2018

At least two North Dakota counties are considering filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of opioids.

The state of North Dakota has already filed suit in state court. Private law firms have approached both the Cass County and Burleigh County Commissions to file suit in federal court, which would likely be combined in a suit now pending.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The city of Lincoln is under a “boil water order” from the state Health Department.

That’s because samples of E. coli were found in one of the city’s nearly 1,300 homes.

The boil order means residents have to boil it before they can drink it. But other uses – such as showers and hand-washings – are still okay.

The first sample was found earlier this month – and a second sample from the same house taken this week was also positive.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The US Army Corps of Engineers has some concerns about what might happen to the Snake Creek Embankment during times of severe drought.

That embankment separates Lake Sakakawea from Lake Audubon.

The Missouri River south of Garrison Dam continues to rise.

"We're capturing the runoff from the mountain snowpack and recent rains from Montana," said Garrison Dam project operations manager Todd Lindquist. "We're putting that into our exclusive flood control zone, and we've gradually increased releases to help evacuate that flood control zone."

Lindquist said Wednesday, releases from the dam will increase to 52,000 cubic feet per second. He said that water will take some time to get to the Bismarck-Mandan area.

Representatives of a Dallas, Texas-based private law firm are trying to convince the Burleigh County Commission to file its own lawsuit over opioids, rather than leave it to the North Dakota Attorney General’s office.

The suits are against the manufacturers of the opioids. They claim the companies misrepresented the harm these pain killers can do. And that has led to overdose problems and deaths.

The AG’s office has already filed suit in state court in North Dakota.

First West Nile human case reported in ND

Jun 18, 2018

North Dakota has its first human case of West Nile Virus this season.

It’s an earlier start to the season.

"Normally, we see West Nile coming out about July or so," said Jenny Gailbraith of the North Dakota Health Department. "It doesn't mean the season is going to be any worse or better. But it's a reminder for people to wear your mosquito repellant."

Galbraith said the person contracting the disease lives in Ramsey County. That person was not hospitalized.

"They just had more of the mild symptoms, like a fever or rash," Gailbraith said.

Recycling growing in North Dakota

Jun 18, 2018

Recycling is growing in North Dakota cities.

North Dakota Health Department waste management director Chris Hyatt said about a dozen cities have some kind of recycle program. Hyatt said the real growth in it started during the oil boom.

"People came into the communities in our state from other places," Hyatt said. "They were interested in recycling."

Hyatt said there was a big push from the public then to see more recycling happen.

"I think that's going to continue into the future," Hyatt said.

Hyatt said the cities have some different programs.

Dickinson to make changes to its recycling program

Jun 13, 2018

Dickinson will be making some changes in its recycling program.

"Our end goal this fall is to do curbside, single-stream recycling," said Dickinson recycling coordinator Rachel Shumaker.

Shumaker said the plan is to have each household with its own recycling can.

"It's the same size as your garbage can," Shumaker said. "And with that, you are able to put your recyclables in there, and it will be picked up every other week."

Shumaker said for Dickinson residents, it means plastics, fibers and metals. Right now, glass isn’t included.

West Nile Virus season is upon us

Jun 8, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

With summer comes mosquitoes – and that could mean West Nile Virus.

That mosquito-borne disease has been reported in North Dakota since 2002. The state Health Department says while most people will either have no symptoms, or a mild case of the disease, there are some who will develop West Nile neuro-invasive disease, which can cause high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, altered mental status – and death.