Trucking Company Faces Strong Penalties for Illegal Oil Waste Di - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Trucking Company Faces Strong Penalties for Illegal Oil Waste Disposal

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A Wyoming-based trucking company could face fines of $2 million dollars or more.

Black Hills Trucking is facing hefty fines from the state of North Dakota for operating without a license and illegally dumping saltwater, a byproduct of oil production, on a Williams County road.

The state's Health and Mineral Resources departments announced the possible fines Tuesday.

Black Hills Trucking Inc. could be fined up to $1,000 for every day it operated without a license, since 2008.

The driver with the trucking company faces a class C felony for illegally dumping salt water.

On February 14th, an investigator with the Department of Mineral Resources allegedly saw Leo Slemin driving a semi in Williams County with the valves open, allowing salt water to spill out onto the road.

Slemin will be in court in Williams County on April 21st.

He faces a maximum penalty of five years and a $10,000 fine.

The civil and criminal penalties at stake may seem quite steep, but the North Dakota Attorney General says oil waste dumping is a serious crime.

He says the charges for illegally dumping oil waste were determined by the state legislature.

The company not the individual will always get the civil penalty.

Wayne Stenehjem says it does not matter what kind of oil waste it is, every illegal dumping incident warrants harsh penalties.

"These are serious offenses. These are issues that are harmful to the environment they are potentially harmful to the health of of our citizens and I think it merits this kind of a very serious charge." says Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

The Attorney General says there are more inspectors than ever monitoring illegal oil waste dumping.

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