INDUSTRIAL FIRE-NORTH DAKOTA
Officials: Williston fire burned chemicals; air OK
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - An emergency manager says this week's fire at a Williston oil field supply company likely burned dozens of different chemicals that were stored there.
Williams County Emergency Manager Mike Hallesy says the fire at Red River Supply will need to be fully extinguished before investigators can determine what caused it.
He also said the half-mile voluntary evacuation zone that was cordoned off has been lifted since the fire is mostly out.
North Dakota Department of Health Air Quality Division director Terry O'Clair says air quality tests at the site showed levels "that would not raise concern."
Hallesy says the air quality in Williston was worse when smoke from Canadian wildfires passed over western North Dakota several weeks ago.
The fire began about midnight Monday and burned most of Tuesday.
Propane leak forced border to close near Antler
ANTLER, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have reopened the border station at Antler.
The facility had been temporarily closed Wednesday after a propane leak was discovered. The building was declared to be safe after an inspection by a propane service provider.
The Antler port of entry is located north of Minot on U.S Highway 256 and Canada Highway 256. It is normally open seven days a week.
OIL TRAIN FIRES-ND
ND lawmakers react to oil train proposals
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Members of North Dakota's congressional delegation say they're encouraged by proposed rules for rail tank cars that carry crude oil.
Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer say the issue of rail safety is important, though they also want commonsense rules that are workable. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp adds that it takes a comprehensive approach that includes government and industry in the discussion.
U.S. regulators are proposing to phase out thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude. It's the government's response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year, including one at Casselton in December that left an ominous cloud over the town and led some residents to evacuate.
Casselton Mayor Lee Anderson says anything that will make oil shipments safer is welcome news.
Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing annual wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region highlights the need for increased protection for birds.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its Status and Trends of Prairie Wetlands report earlier this month. The report shows that the wetlands in the region declined by an average of 6,200 acres per year - and some conservationists say the trend isn't slowing down.
Conservationists and wildlife officials say more emphasis needs to be put on conservation easements and incentive-based programs that protect wetlands on farmland while reimbursing farmers for lost income.
Officials say Prairie Pothole Region provides breeding and nesting habitat for more than 60 percent of the nation's migratory waterfowl.
WRONG BOARDING PASS
Officials review alleged security snafu at airport
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The manager of the Bismarck airport and federal officials say they're investigating the report of a man who says he was allowed to board a plane to Denver with someone else's ticket.
Mick Turner, of Bismarck, tells KXMB-TV that he received the wrong boarding pass when he checked in for the July 10 flight, and then made it past the security checkpoint and onto the plane.
Turner says he didn't realize he had the wrong boarding pass until he got to his seat. He told a flight attendant about the mistake and was asked to leave the plane.
Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lorie Dankers says TSA is reviewing the allegations. Airport manager Greg Haug calls the incident a "legitimate concern."
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