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Health & Environment

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.

'A Day of Prevention'

Apr 12, 2018


It was called “A Day of Prevention.”

People gathered in Bismarck to talk about how to prevent substance abuse.

Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum hosted it, along with the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

"We spent $26 million in the last decade building jails in our state," Burgum said. "This year, in the budget, we will spend $100,000 for prevention. Each dollar of prevention could save as much as $64 downstream."

A Jamestown High School administrator suffered a case of “nicotine poisoning” after confiscating an e-cigarette from a student.

The tobacco control director for the Central Valley Health District in Jamestown, Nancy Neary, said Jamestown High Assistant vice-principal John Conway confiscated an e-cigarette and accompanying liquid from a student in one of the school’s rest rooms.

"When he handled that, some of the oil on the outside of the bottle got on his hand," Neary said. And she said Conway got sick almost immediately.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public


That’s how National Weather Service hydrologist Allen Schlag describes the snow we’ve had over the last few days.

"Probably anybody who's out there shoveling really like the idea of calling this 'beneficial,'" Schlag joked.

But Schlag said it has been a helpful event for agriculture and the environment.

"Prior to coming into this weekend, we were well below normal for both snowfall received and snowpack retained on the countryside," Schlag said. "The current snowfall we've received -- there's nothing in it that is alarming."

Beavers and Winter Finches

Dec 12, 2017


I drive by a few beaver lodges each day on my way to and from work.  When I pass by the lodges, especially now after ice-up, I often wonder what they are doing.  

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Sanford Health – Bismarck is expanding its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Sanford Vice-President Dr. Craig Lambrecht made the announcement. He said the unit will go from 12 to 24 beds – and it will include 18 private rooms. It will be on the sixth floor of Sanford’s Bismarck hospital.

Lambrecht said one of the factors in making this expansion is a growing number of babies affected by opioids and methamphetamines.

"These babies come in premature," Lambercht said. "They come in with complexities -- they're just very irritable, and they're difficult to take care of."

TransCanada Corp. said its Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.

The company said crews shut down the pipeline this Thursday morning after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from an oil leak that's under investigation. The section of pipe near the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota, has been isolated and the company says emergency response procedures were activated.