North Dakota Department of Health Seeks Comments on Volkswagen Mitigation Plan

BISMARCK, N.D. – On October 2, 2017, an environmental mitigation trust was finalized as part of the nationwide Volkswagen Settlement. Funding will be available to all states to mitigate negative air quality impacts caused by Volkswagen’s use of emissions testing defeat devices in vehicles sold and operated in the U.S. The devices violated the Clean Air Act and increased emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx). North Dakota’s share will be approximately $8.1 million.

To receive funding, a state must outline the mitigation actions planned to reduce NOx emissions. The Governor’s Office has appointed the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) to develop and implement a mitigation plan. The plan must be based on the settlement’s list of eligible actions to reduce NOx emissions and provide the greatest air quality benefit. A copy of the mitigation plan, as well as other Volkswagen Settlement information, can be found at http://deq.nd.gov/AQ/planning/VW.aspx.

The NDDoH is not currently requesting project proposals but is seeking public comment to help finalize the mitigation plan. The 45-day comment period begins July 17 and ends August 31, 2018. Written comments can be sent to the Division of Air Quality, 918 E Divide Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501-1947 or emailed to AirQuality@nd.gov.

Two public information meetings also have been scheduled.

  • Fargo - July 30, 2018, 6:00 p.m. - A. Glenn Hill Center, Rm 112, 1306 Centennial Blvd, NDSU (parking available at Memorial Union lot)
  • Bismarck - July 31, 2018, 6:00 p.m. - NDDoH Environmental Training Center, 2639 E Main

For more information, visit http://deq.nd.gov/AQ/planning/VW.aspx, or call Keith Hinnenkamp, Division of Air Quality, at 701.328.5188.

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Clean Diesel Grants Awarded

The North Dakota Department of Health, through the US Environmental Protection Agency, will award approximately $182,900 in grants to the following schools for the replacement of old diesel-powered school buses with new cleaner diesel-powered school buses. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of the Energy Policy Act of 2010 allocates funds to states to implement projects that reduce diesel emissions. These replacements are being conducted utilizing North Dakota’s FY2017 DERA funding.

  • Thompson Public Schools $20,425
  • Milnor Public Schools $20,000
  • Lidgerwood Public Schools $19,687
  • Flasher Public Schools $21,125
  • Sargent Central Public Schools $19,937
  • Central Valley Public Schools $20,339
  • Ashley Public Schools $20,000
  • Grafton Public Schools $20,250
  • Harvey Public Schools $21,137

Asbestos Inspection Required Before Demolishing or Renovating Buildings

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is reminding building owners and operators that an inspection by a North Dakota-licensed asbestos inspector is required prior to demolition or renovation. Asbestos, a mineral material commonly used in building products in the past, has been classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

State and federal regulations require all institutional, commercial and public buildings, and city-owned residences to be inspected for asbestos before any demolition or renovation begins. Privately owned, single-family residences are typically exempt unless they are being demolished or renovated as part of a larger project. A list of asbestos-licensed companies can be found at https://deq.nd.gov/AQ/PDFs/Documents/Asbestos/AsbestosContractors.pdf.

For demolition work, the building owner or operator must submit a notification form to the NDDoH after the inspection and at least 10 working days before demolition, even if asbestos is not present. The form will include inspection results, a description of intended work, and waste disposal details. The form can be found at https://deq.nd.gov/forms/AQ/asbestos/SFN17987.pdf .

In cases of renovation, no notification is required if the inspection determines there are less than 160 square feet or 260 lineal feet of regulated asbestos material present.

Failure to comply with the requirements may result in penalties – up to $10,000 per day per violation, and even criminal prosecution in some cases. It is the responsibility of both the building owner and the contractor to ensure all requirements are met. For more information on demolition and renovation regulations, contact Justin Otto, Division of Air Quality, at 701.328.5188, or email jotto@nd.gov.

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Last Updated: 07/17/2018