Now, from The Bismarck Tribune --
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior as the tribe continues to challenge oil wells that tribal leaders say were drilled too close to Lake Sakakawea.
The tribe is exhausting its appeals after the Bureau of Land Management approved oil wells that are closer to the lake than tribal regulations allow, MHA Chairman Mark Fox said in an interview on Wednesday.
“We’re doing our best to battle and protect our land and our reservation,” said Fox, who is running for a second term as chairman. “We have a lot to protect.”
Slawson Exploration Co. has completed drilling 12 oil wells near the Van Hook arm of Lake Sakakawea near New Town and has plans to begin hydraulic fracturing on Oct. 1, said Eric Sundberg, the company’s vice president of environmental and regulatory affairs.
From the news story:
Something tells me there have been a lot of surveyors (and others) out in that area stepping off the distance.Slawson’s well pad, known as the Torpedo Federal pad, was originally sited for 600 feet from the lake but was pushed back to about 800 feet from the lakeshore during the regulatory review, Sundberg said. The wells are more than 1,000 feet from the lake, he said. A U.S. Air Force missile cable prevented the pad from being located farther north, Sundberg said.