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Health & Environment

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.

Dakota Gasification Company

The Dakota Gasification Company has entered into a joint partnership with OCI NV to sell nitrogen fertilizer and diesel exhaust fluid in North America.

Dakota Gasification is a for-profit subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

The joint venture is being named N-7 LLC.      

"It's called N-7 because nitrogen is the 7th element in the periodic table," said Basin Electric spokesman Curt Pearson.

Pearson said N-7 will market  and distribute more than 4.5 million metric tons of nitrogen fertilizers from the Beulah plant.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says on average, two workers are killed each month in trench collapses.

Now, OSHA, the North Dakota Safety Council and other state organizations have signed on to an official Safety Alliance, with the goal of preventing trenching related accidents.

"They said, 'Why wait until something happens?'" said Safety Council executive director Chuck Claremont. "Let's be more active to prevent these things."

Claremont said if the awareness is there, and people are getting the training, the statistics should go down.

Advocates for behavioral health treatment and prevention services are hoping a new report will spur investments by the 2019 Legislature.

The report was presented to the Legislature’s interim Human Services Committee.

"The report gives us a roadmap," said Rep. Kathy Hogan (D-Fargo), the chairman of the interim committee. "Now the question will be leadership to implement the roadmap."

Hogan said the report’s first recommendation is to have strong implementation plans.

USDA looking for veterinarians

Apr 22, 2018

The “Help Wanted” sign is out for veterinarians.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is holding a one-day recruitment event in St. Paul, Minnesota Tuesday (4-24) through Thursday (4-26).

"We home to come in Tuesday and have people with tentative ofer letters in hand by the end of the week," said Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg. She said the Service’s role is to insure the safety of the commercial supply of meat, poultry and processed eggs.