Dickinson Co. Supervisors Take Official Action Authorizing Environmental Consultant To Talk To BNSF Rail Officials

Wed 10-24-2018

(Spirit Lake)-- Dickinson county officials say efforts by an environmental consultant that was hired to investigate oil contaminated material being disposed of at the local landfill are being stymied.

The material was contaminated in a train derailment last June near Doon.

Supervisor Chairman Bill Leopold stated at Tuesday's meeting the county's consultant attempted to ask questions of railroad officials to get more information, but was told he needed to have permission from the board of supervisors saying it was okay for him to ask questions on their behalf. Leopold said he contacted Gregory Jeffries of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad saying the supervisors were giving their authorization for the consultant to contact the railroad. Leopold said he then received an email back from the railroad saying that wasn't enough. Leopold said he then wrote a formal letter that was signed by each supervisor, but never heard anything back from the railroad...Leopold04 

"I scanned this, I sent it to Mr. Jeffries and I asked now, if I get this signed will this be good enough? I never received an email back."

Leopold Tuesday requested the supervisors to take official action on the matter...Leopold05 

"That way it will be in the minutes, because I can see them saying no, he needs more. So I'll send the minutes along with this, first I'll scan it, send it by email, then I'll go ahead and send it return receipt mail and we'll see what happens."

The supervisors voted 5-0 in favor of Leopold's request. Supervisor Pam Jordan said she's skeptical, saying the issue could go back and forth endlessly.

Representatives of the railroad, landfill and other officials who were on hand at a supervisors meeting weeks after the incident took place gave their assurances they would cooperate with the county in its efforts to get more information into what took place.