Transition to NDDEQ

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) became an independent agency on April 29, 2019. During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 2327, splitting the Environmental Health Section from the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) to create a new NDDEQ. Our mission has not changed; we are committed to protecting the quality of North Dakota’s air, land and water resources.

All programs for the new department have completed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review and approval process. The state process for transition has been fully implemented. As of April 29, 2019, the NDDEQ is effectively in operation, and environmental laws that previously fell under jurisdiction of the NDDoH have been transferred to the NDDEQ.

In the coming weeks, you will notice changes on this website to reflect the new agency name. In some cases, you may discover publications or other documents referencing the NDDoH Environmental Health Section, rather than the NDDEQ. Rest assured the content of our online information remains valid. Program areas and contacts remain the same. Although the transition did not impact the requirements of existing laws and rules, be aware that law and rule citations may change.

A news release will be sent out soon announcing the establishment of the new NDDEQ. In addition, a media event and public open house are being planned for May 31, 2019.

Notice of intent to adopt administrative rules relating to the establishment of the Department of Environmental Quality

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has signed legislation separating the Environmental Health Section from the North Dakota Department of Health to create a standalone Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), to be completed by July 2019. The DEQ will administer and enforce the same environmental protection programs as the existing Environmental Health Section, which has been headed since 2002 by David Glatt.

The establishment of a DEQ streamlines government and acknowledges the importance of environmental protection in North Dakota by elevating that responsibility to a cabinet-level agency whose Director is appointed by and reports directly to the Governor. The section currently has about 174 positions, including engineers, scientists, chemists, microbiologists and administrative support staff.

The DEQ will be overseen by a new 13-member Environmental Review Advisory Board, created through the consolidation of the existing Air Quality Advisory Board and Water Pollution Control Advisory Board. The new board will consist of the state engineer, state geologist, Director of the state Game and Fish Department, and 10 members appointed by the Governor. The board also reserves three spots for representatives of crop agriculture, the livestock industry, and agronomy/soil sciences.

Our Water - Keeping it Clean article discussing the transition (pdf)