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Final 2017 Legislative Update

Northwest Landowners Association’s leadership has been busy these last few months in Bismarck at the legislative session; continuing to advocate for landowners. Specifically, here is a list of legislation NWLA followed through this session. Please click on the bill number to be linked to the appropriate bill status.

  • HB 1151: The “Spill Bill” would no longer require companies to report spills of crude oil, produced water, or natural gas that are contained to a well site or production location and are less than 10 barrels (420 gallons). The current rule is to report spills of 1 barrel or more. This bill has been signed by Gov. Burgum NWLA is NOT in support of this legislation.
  • HB 1244: This bill is a quick take by the water boards and will most likely be killed. This legislation did not pass. NWLA is in support of this legislation.
  • HB 1020: This bill would implement taxation of fresh water sold by landowners, with funds going towards WAWS. This segment of legislation did not pass. NWLA is NOT in support of this portion of this legislation.
  • SB 2313: Wind oversight and Reclamation legislation. NWLA recommendation is to have the PSC in charge. The Ombudsman program that was created in 2015 has been expanded with a memorandum of understanding for the Agricultural Department to work with PCS pipeline and wind farm development.
  • SB 2331: The “Sampling Bill” relates to the protection of groundwater and other responsibilities of a mineral developer. It would require that soils and groundwater be sampled on oil and gas sites to provide a background record for spill cleanup. NWLA introduced and is in support of this legislation. This legislation did not pass.
  • SB 2047: Same as HB 1244, looking to add provisions of SB 2332 (Eminent Domain compensation) to it. The amendments from SB 2332 did not pass. NWLA is in support of this legislation.
  • SB 2236: This legislation would make permanent the Ombudsman Program, which was established in the 2015 Legislative Session through a bill that NWLA championed. NWLA is in support of this legislation. This bill was passed.
  • SB 2327: This bill would create the Division of Environmental Quality. NWLA recommended consideration of an amendment to allow for ⅓ representation on the board by agricultural representatives. NWLA feels this ratio is justified by the estimation that 90% of North Dakota’s land is utilized for agricultural purposes and ¼ of our economy is agriculturally based. This bill has been approved at ⅓ representation agricultural representatives on the Division of Environmental Quality board. This legislation has been passed. NWLA is in support of this legislation.
  • SB 2156: The “Radioactive Waste” bill. This legislation was passed without the amendments. NWLA was in support of the bill and amendments. Amendments to this bill were added to address concerns of local elected officials representing the residents. The amendments would have made the local elected officials to the first to be notified.
  • SB 2332: The “Eminent Domain Bill”. This legislation failed to pass. NWLA introduced and is in support of this legislation.
  • SB 2333: This legislation was introduced by NWLA and deals with 38-08 rule for DMR guidance. This legislation handles reclamation of all land, on and off site of oil well pads. This legislation passed.
    NWLA was able to get an amendment into the PCS budget for a wind farm study. This study will help guide the agency and aid the property owners with the effects of a wind farm.

Through the entire legislative session, a representative from NWLA was present ⅔ of the time. Several meetings were held with the PCS, DMR, Health Department, Majority and Minority leaders and the Industrial Commission( Agricultural Commissioner, North Dakota Governor Burgum, and the Attorney General.)

NWLA followed numerous other legislation and gave testimony on many issues which affect landowners of North Dakota. Check our website,, for up to date happenings that NWLA are involved in.

Please contact Amy Shelton, NWLA Executive Director, with any comments or ideas you may have. Also, if there are additional areas we should be pursuing; let us know. We are always looking for members and parties to be involved, so please reach out.