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Letters to the Tribune

By Staff | Feb 12, 2016

Names Omitted from Column

I’ve enjoyed reading the Good Ol’ Days written by Bill Gronvold. I espeically enjoyed “Keeping the Sense of Smell” in the January 23 issue. It triggered so many similar memories of childhood, collge days and growing up and living on a farm.

However, the “Officer Frank Peterson Story” left me bewildered. It was well written except for a very important omission the names of the two men who were convicted of 1st degree murder. Were their names omitted because of the sensibility of living family members and friends? If so how about the sensibilities of the victim’s family members and friends? If Mr. Gronvold didn’t feel comfortable giving all the names in this tragic story, better it had not been published.

Dora Diepolder

Concerns About Borehole Project

I live in Rugby, ND, the Geographical Center of North America. I own a farm approximately 16 miles south of Rugby right off of highway 3. About a mile an a half I have land that adjoins right up to the section of land proposed for research which could lead to the nuclear waste dump site. Only a fence line in between.

In reading Chuck Volk’s letter in last weeks Tribune, I don’t begin to understand the whys and wherefores of the proposed exploratory drilling in Pierce County. So I have concerns of my own about the outcome of this proposal.


1. Why N.D.? Just because the area around there is sparsely populated? I have three pastures near the proposed site (rented) and the rest is under cultivation. The remaining land around there is being used in one way or another by other local residents.

2. I am not familiar to what goes into a nuclear waste dump, but it must be bad or it wouldn’t have to be buried so deep. What takes place after a while with the waste? Does it deteriorate? Can there be leakage, how is it contained; will it get into water lines? Balta Dam is not far away. Will it seep over there and contaminate it? Will it keep going and join other lakes?

3. I have concern for the farmers that work in the area. Health wise, will it affect the air, etc? Who wants to work so closely to something that could be dangerous?

4. If the land were to be sold some day would it affect the price? I don’t think anyone would be too anxious to buy land that is close to a nuclear waste site.

5. Where is the waste coming from? Other states? Can it be contained safely?

6. What would be the incentive for N.D. to have a nuclear waste dump in the state? Would it help the state or just be a detriment?

N.D. is finally on the map, due to our abundance of oil. Rugby is not far away and is the Geographical Center of North America. Years ago some people thought living in N.D. was like living in the sticks. But we have proved them wrong. People have flocked to N.D. after the oil boom just to get a piece of the pie (oil).

Change is good, but not in all ways. We have to stick up for what we think helps our state.

N.D. is a beautiful state! Our motto is “Cleaner and Greener; Whiter and Brighter.” So let us keep it that way.

Caroline Bickler

Rugby, ND

Resident of N.D. for 85 years.

N.D. Will Learn from Borehole Project

As President of the University of North Dakota, I support the Deep Borehole Project that has been proposed for Pierce County by the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), Batelle Memorial Institute and Schlumberger. I have met with EERC leadership and discussed this project, as well as reviewed the proposal prepared by the EERC, and I am convinced of two things:

1. This project is safe for the citizens of Pierce County and North Dakota.

2. We will learn a great deal about the deep substrata of our state.

The Deep Borehole Project stems from a U.S. Department of Energy request for proposals to gather engineering and scientific information to help them determine whether disposing of nuclear materials within a deep borehole has technical merit. To be clear, there is no radioactive material involved in this project. The proposal focuses on gaining a better understanding of the feasibility of drilling a hole deep enough-16,000 feet-to help scientists learn more about the general characteristics of these types of rocks at these deep levels. This will help researchers better understand the potential impacts of deep storage systems.

The EERC identified a site in Pierce County that would provide an excellent location to study the science and engineering in a cost-effective manner. This site provides an ideal area to look at drilling through both sedimentary material and bedrock. At the end of the project, the borehole will be filled in with cement, permanently capped, and the site reclaimed to its original state. No residual materials of any type would be stored there after, above or below the site. The request for proposals is focused strictly on developing engineering and scientific information. Put simply it’s all about the science.

The project will help us gain a better understanding of the bedrock underlying this region and state. And I am confident that gaining such knowledge is in our best interests. These rocks are currently being mined (at much shallower depths) for iron ore in Minnesota, nickel in Manitoba, and gold and diamonds in Ontario. I have confidence that the EERC, being a North Dakota agency, will conduct a safe, responsible and valuable test for us.

Ed Schafer

President, University of North Dakota

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