Oil Bill that may Help Landowners - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Oil Bill that may Help Landowners

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The North Dakota legislature is close to finalizing a package of bills that protect landowners in oil country.

The Senate approved House Bill 1348 this afternoon.

It deals with moving flares and tanks on well sites further from homes.

The current setback for an oil well is 500 feet.

Under this bill, a landowner can request flares and other facilities associated with the production to be 1,000 feet from an occupied dwelling.

Lawmakers say the three bills will help to guide the growth taking place in western North Dakota.

Representative Todd Porter says the bills balance landowner rights and economic development.

(Rep. Todd Porter / (R) Mandan) "I don't know that there's another state dealing with oil and gas that has legislation that looks like we've done. I believe it's not only landmark but it's going to be the benchmark for other states as they move forward with oil exploration and production."

House Bill 1352 allows surface owners or mineral developers to involve the North Dakota mediation service to resolve disputes.

And House Bill 1333 which has been passed in both chambers protects land in oil country.

It sets aside money to clean up spills if the company responsible can not be tracked down.

It also sets rules and guidelines for salt water use and disposal, a first of its kind in ND.

And it requires oil and gas pipelines to provide a map of gathering lines to the Industrial Commission that can be accessed by landowners.

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