North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple suspended the maximum limit on sulfates in the Sheyenne River.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed an executive order on Monday that waives compliance with water quality standards that were adjusted last year to handle water drained from Devils Lake into the Sheyenne River. Drinking water with high sulfates has adverse effects on humans and Valley City's drinking water is taken from the river.
More on this story as it develops. The executive order is printed below.
WHEREAS, I Jack Dalrymple, Governor of the State of North Dakota, in Executive Order 2011-01 have declared a flood emergency exists in the Devils Lake Basin; and
WHEREAS, since Executive Order 2011-01 was issued, the lake level has set new modern era records, reaching 1454.30 feet on June 27, 2011, and currently standing at 1452.53; and
WHEREAS, Devils Lake remains at a dangerously high level, inundating tens of thousands of acres, cutting off access on vital public roads, and posing an unacceptable risk of catastrophic overflow into the Sheyenne River,
WHEREAS, the State has worked expeditiously to build a control structure at Tolna Coulee and a second pumped outlet at East Devils Lake; and
WHEREAS, in order to manage this ongoing emergency, it will be necessary to operate both pumped outlets at flow rates sufficient to bring down the level of the lake, through a water to water transfer from Devils Lake to the Sheyenne River; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Health will monitor water quality in the Sheyenne River and advise the State Water Commission regarding any observed or anticipated effects on aquatic life due to temporary or emergency use of the Devils Lake outlets; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the state to assist the people of North Dakota in addressing the emergencies and disasters that face the state and its citizens.
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to North Dakota Century Code § 37-17.1-05, I, Jack Dalrymple, Governor of the State of North Dakota, order the suspension of all provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation, including those in Chapters 32-40 and 61-28, N.D.C.C. and Chapter 33-16-02.1, North Dakota Administrative Code, that may in any way restrict the full operation of the Devils Lake outlets to reduce the risk of catastrophic overflow.
This order is issued pursuant to the following authority and for the following reasons:
The Governor is vested with the executive authority pursuant to Article V, Section 1 of the North Dakota Constitution; and,
The governor is vested with statutory authority to issue executive orders to minimize or avert the effects of a disaster or emergency pursuant to Chapter 37-17.1 of the North Dakota Century Code; and,
This order is effective immediately and it shall remain in effect until December 31, 2012.
Executed at Bismarck, North Dakota, this 30th day of July, 2012.
Signed Executive Order: Executive Order 2012-07