Spill Investigation Program
Environmental Incident Reporting
Any spill or discharge of liquid or solid (not gaseous) waste which may cause pollution of waters of the state must be reported immediately (NDAC 33-16-02.1-11 paragraph 4, bottom of page 17). The owner, operator, or person responsible for a spill or discharge must notify the department as soon as possible or the Department of Emergency Services. Depending on the severity of the spill or accidental discharge, the department may require the owner or operator to:
- Take immediate remedial measures;
- Determine the extent of pollution to waters of the state;
- Provide alternate water sources to water users impacted by the spill or accidental discharge; or
- Any other actions necessary to protect human health and the environment.
- Specific minimum quantities for mandatory reporting of spills have not been established.
- North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (1-701-328-5210)
- North Dakota Oil and Gas Division (1-701-328-8020)
- North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (1-701-328-8100) or
(1-800-472-2121 State Radio 24-Hour Hotline - valid only in North Dakota.)
If there is any question as to proper response call one of the listed agencies and provide all relevant information about the incident.
(If the report incident button on this form does not display another form, try adding the URL of the form to the trusted sites on your internet browser.)
This form is only for RCRA-exempt releases in the oilfield. This will generally include:
- Produced fluids such as crude oil, water, or oil/water emulsion before ownership transfer takes place, (i.e. a release from the producer's lease, flow lines, or tank battery before being trucked off-site or going into crude transportation pipeline.)
- Brine water from a commercial disposal facility.
- Condensate from gas lines or gas plant before leaving the gas plant in the transportation pipeline.
- Releases of crude oil or produced water from truck transport are not exempt and should use the General Environmental Incident Report Form link below.
- Releases of crude oil or other non-gaseous petroleum products from transportation pipelines are not exempt and should use the General Environmental Incident Report Form link below .
- Releases of non-oilfield-produced substances, even when released on an oil lease, are not exempt and should use the General Environmental Incident Report Form link below. This would include spills such as fuel for rig motors, acid for well stimulation, etc.
(Includes Non-exempt Oilfield Related Incidents)
This form should be used for any environmental incident or release that is not exempt under the RCRA oilfield exemptions. This will generally include:
- Any spill which may potentially have adverse effects to human health or the environment.
- Any incident or spill which may potentially impact waters of the state, either surface water or ground water.
- All substances are included, not just "hazardous materials." Recent examples that a person may not normally think of as having a potential impact to the environment, include "non toxic" substances such as molasses or salt. These may not be immediately harmful to human health, but they may impact aquatic life or soil fertility.
- Sometimes an environmental incident does not actually result in a release to the environment, but should still be reported. Examples might include the loss of a sealed radiation source or a traffic accident involving hazardous chemicals, even if the containers did not break open.
- Releases of crude oil or produced water from truck transport are not exempt and should use the General Environmental Incident Report Form.
- Releases of crude oil or other non-gaseous petroleum products from transportation pipelines are not exempt and should use the General Environmental Incident Report Form.
- Releases of non-oilfield-produced substances, even when released on an oil lease, are not exempt and should use the General Environmental Incident Report Form. This would include spills such as fuel for rig motors, acid for well stimulation, etc.
Some releases may require immediate response by trained emergency personnel. This will be coordinated through the Department of Health, Division of Emergency Management and any other state or local emergency response agencies that may be needed.
Environmental Investigation and Cleanup
Some releases may require additional investigation beyond initial clean up to determine full impacts to the environment. This may include soil borings and samples, monitoring wells and groundwater samples, etc.
Investigations of Contaminant Release Sites (11/06 pdf format)
Environmental Site Investigation Report (11/06 pdf format)
Action levels have been set for petroleum compounds and drinking water maximum contaminant levels may also be used as action levels. Final standards for cleanup are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the contaminant involved and potential for risk to human health and the environment.
Cleanup Action Levels for Gasoline and Other Petroleum Hydrocarbons (12/06 pdf)
Property Transfer Assessments
If any type of soil or water contamination is found during a property transfer assessment, or in the course of any other activity, that contamination must be reported to the Department of Environmental Quality. The fact that it may have been a previously unknown, or historic release does not eliminate the reporting requirements.