Pierce County Residents Petition Against Nuclear Waste Proposal (February 2016)

Pierce County (North Dakota) residents opposed to a plan to bore holes three miles into the Earth near Rugby are collecting petition signatures to demonstrate their concern.

Chuck Volk farms less than two miles from the proposed site where UND’s Energy and Environmental Research Center is proposing to dig.

It’s part of a contract through the U.S. Department of Energy, which says the purpose of the bore holes is to determine if the rock formation might be appropriate for disposal of high-level nuclear waste.

And it’s that possible use that has spurred Volk and others to start the petition drive.

Volk began collecting signatures at last week’s ag show in Rugby.

(Chuck Volk, Pierce County Farmer) “I walked around the ag show. Of the 117 people I asked, 114 people signed. People are still developing their opinion and I want them to do that – I want them to get educated.”

(Dallas Hager, Pierce County Farmer) “I got a petition here, I keep it in my back pocket and as I travel around Pierce County and the Rugby area and the surrounding communities, we’re going to be out talking to the people and getting their support on the petition to stop the project.”

Hager and Volk say they oppose the bore drilling plan specifically because one of the stated purposes is to see if nuclear waste could be buried in Pierce County.

(Dallas Hager, Pierce County Farmer) “The Department of Energy is the driving force behind this project and what they are looking for are potential suitable sites to store nuclear waste and they believe that storing this nuclear waste below the ground, below this rock structure is potentially suitable and that’s the thing right there.”

Last week, the Pierce County Commission enacted a moratorium on deep hole boring in the county.

Next week, an official from UND’s EERC will be in Rugby to explain the details of the proposed project to the commission and members of the public

Posted: Feb 08, 2016 8:32 PM EST at http://www.kxnet.com/story/31171755/pierce-county-residents-petition-against-nuclear-waste-proposal

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