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Marathon Oil reaches $241M settlement with EPA for North Dakota environmental violations

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Marathon Oil reaches $241M settlement with EPA for North Dakota environmental violations


The federal government announced a $241.5 million settlement with Marathon Oil on Thursday for alleged air quality violations at the company’s oil and gas operations in the Forth Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice said the settlement requires Marathon to reduce climate- and health-harming emissions from those facilities and will result in over 2.3 million tons worth of pollution reduction.

“This historic settlement — the largest ever civil penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act at stationary sources — will ensure cleaner air for the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and other communities in North Dakota, while holding Marathon accountable for its illegal pollution,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

Marathon officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Houston-based Marathon operates 169 well pads in North Dakota, where the company extracts oil and natural gas.

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While Marathon is the country’s 22nd-largest oil producer based on 2022 data, the federal agencies said, it’s also the seventh-largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry. Much of its emissions come from flaring, the industry practice of burning off waste gases, which also releases methane, a particularly potent contributor to climate change.

The settlement calls for Marathon to eliminate the equivalent of over 2.25 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next five years, which the agencies said was tantamount to taking 487,000 cars off the road for one year, and will also eliminate nearly 110,000 tons of volatile organic compound missions.

The agencies said the case is the first of its kind against an oil and gas producer for “violations of major source emissions permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration program.” They also said it’s the largest-ever penalty imposed for “stationary source violations,” which include facilities such as oil and gas tank systems.

The complaint alleged that these and other Clean Air Act violations at nearly 90 Marathon facilities resulted in thousands of tons of illegal pollution.

The settlement is part of a lawsuit and consent decree officially filed Thursday in federal court in North Dakota.

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North Dakota

North Dakota State Fair kicks off Friday

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North Dakota State Fair kicks off Friday


MINOT, N.D. (Valley News Live) – The 2024 North Dakota State Fair opens on Friday, July 19, and runs through July 27 with a lineup packed full of entertainment, rides, and family fun.

Fair organizers say the Grandstand Showpass is your ticket to some hot acts in the country music scene, such as Lainey Wilson, Sawyer Brown, Turnpike Troubadours, and Thomas Rhett, along with a demolition derby and the MHA Indian Horse Relay. You can catch all of the acts with the Showpass for $130.

Single ticket shows are also available, including Mötley Crüe with special guest White Reaper, Machine Gun Kelly with Shaboozey opening the show, and hip-hop icon Lil Wayne.

Tickets are available for $85 for Mötley Crüe, $75 for Machine Gun Kelly, and $65 for Lil Wayne, with both standing room and reserved seating options available.

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A season gate pass for all nine days at the fair costs $25. You get tickets online by using the “TICKETS” link at www.ndstatefair.com

It’s the 59th year of the North Dakota State Fair tradition in Minot. Fair officials say they drawing over 300,000 visitors annually.



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North Dakota delegates react to former President Trump’s RNC speech

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North Dakota delegates react to former President Trump’s RNC speech


MILWAUKEE (KFYR/KMOT) – The Republican National Convention wrapped up on Thursday with former President Donald Trump accepting the Republican nomination for president.

We got the chance Thursday night to speak with members of the North Dakota delegation. When we spoke to the delegates, they talked about the enthusiasm that former President Trump brought onto the stage just a week after that assassination attempt on his life.

“Well, it was exciting. He told his story in a very frank way. And it sounds like a very unique way he’s done. It’s not like he’s going to tell it that way again,” said Ben Koppelman, delegate.

“His message was amazing is we just got to make this country great again and get back to what we’re good at working hard drilling for oil, just making America great again,” said Mary Graner, delegate.

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“Well, it was longer than I thought it was going to be for sure. But, you know, he gets portrayed as the guy that sows division, and he did just the opposite,” said Scott Louser, delegate.

“Amazing. I mean, breathtaking. It was so awesome. You just felt full of hope and gratitude and promise for our country,” said Wendi Baggaley, delegate.

We spoke with more of our delegates about a whole range of topics, and we will have more follow-ups in the coming days.



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ND American Indian Summit celebrates its 10th anniversary

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ND American Indian Summit celebrates its 10th anniversary


BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – For the last ten years, the North Dakota American Indian Summit has provided information and resources about Native American culture and history for the classroom.

It has also discussed ways to help Native American students work on healing any trauma or improving their mental health to aid their academic success.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the Native American graduation rate ten years ago was 60 percent. That year, the North Dakota American Indian Summit was organized by the Department of Public Instruction. The event’s purpose was to educate teachers on how to lead their Native American students to success in school.

”It became obvious that it was critical, for the success of our state, and for the ability for us to fully thrive to our fullest potential as a state, we needed to make sure that every single student in our school system was meeting their fullest potential,” said Kirsten Baesler, state superintendent.

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This year Derrick Boles, a motivational speaker, was invited to be one of the keynote speakers at the summit. Boles’ message was about mental health and taking charge of your life. He said he sees similarities between challenges in the Black community to the ones the Native American community faces.

”There’s so much growth that can happen if we can connect people together, from multiple backgrounds,” said Boles. “So having different experiences, different perspectives and just having everybody thinking the same thing is the issue.”

Over the last 10 years, the Native American student graduation rates have increased, from 60 percent in 2014 to 77 percent in 2023.

”Right before the pandemic, our Native American students were graduating at the same rate as all of our overall graduation rate, and so they were in the upper eighties, lower nineties graduation rate,” said Baesler.

The rates decreased again during the COVID-19 lockdown, but Baesler said they have been on the rise.

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This year’s summit was focused on strengthening Native American education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.



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