North Dakota tribal group asserts authority over development

An oil flare in Mandaree, on the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota. Photo by Talli Nauman / Native Sun News

A leader of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation has created a new regulatory body that will oversee energy development on the North Dakota reservation.

Council member Randy Phelan set up the West Segment Regulatory Commission by resolution in January. The new body has asked about 3,000 energy developers that do business in the West Segment to register and to attend a "mandatory" meeting next week, the Associated Press reported.

"This is an ongoing process and good oversight to take back our community with all the activities occurring within our West Segment boundaries," general manager Harriet Goodiron said in the Country Road Chronicles of West Segment. "The commission is not established to duplicate services already in place by other tribal and state entities, but to work in collaboration with for the overall safety for our members, land, and environment."

The commission has five members. They plan to conduct background checks and drug testing of energy company employees, monitor chemicals used in development and focus on preventing human trafficking and criminal activity.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council believes the group will hinder energy development on the reservation, the AP reported.

Get the Story:
North Dakota tribal panel wants to regulate oil development (AP 6/24)

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