Burgum announces streamlined, unified spill reporting system

<< All News Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the completion of a new streamlined system that will provide a one-stop shop for energy industry producers, transporters and developers, as well as the public, to report hazardous material spills and releases.

The planning process for the project began in 2018 as a joint effort led by the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and supported by the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Oil and Gas Division. In January 2020, the reporting platform developer HazConnect was awarded a state contract to begin work on the project’s functionality and design.

The reporting system can now be accessed at spill.nd.gov or by calling 1-833-99SPILL (1-833-997-7455). Spill reporting requirements remain the same.

“This simplified system gives producers and the public a one-stop option for reporting hazardous material spills instead of having to report spills to multiple state agencies, thereby enhancing the state’s spill response and transparency,” said Burgum, who announced the system during his annual State of the State address. “Through increased collaboration and unified reporting, our state agencies are now better prepared to protect North Dakota’s water, air and soil.”

In accordance with state and federal law, a spill/release must be reported within 24 hours of the incident to North Dakota agencies responsible for remediating and documenting spills. However, 9-1-1 should be called if there is an immediate spill/release emergency including:

  • Any spill/release that has an impact, or potential impact, to public health, including:
      • Injuries or deaths.
      • Evacuations, or if there is potential for evacuations later.
      • Waterways or wildlife impacted or threatened.

Prior to the reporting system’s implementation, state agency representatives initiated an outreach campaign to notify industry stakeholders about the new platform and to provide training to those who wished to participate. A series of training videos also will be posted to the spill.nd.gov website for users to reference.

“By using a whole-of-government approach, we have developed a reporting system that will help North Dakota more effectively respond and mitigate impacts from unanticipated spill events,” said Cody Schulz, North Dakota Homeland Security director. “We have also strengthened our response capabilities by partnering with energy industry groups, instructing them on the state’s reporting requirements and giving them the tools and training to report accurately.”

Through the reporting system, state agencies can capture and archive information that can be used to better protect North Dakotans. The data can bolster mitigation strategies and be used for training emergency responders to better understand hazardous incidents that might have occurred in their districts. It also can help communities plan for potential environmental concerns by using real, historical data from their regions.

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