Tribe warns that children might
play with illegally dumped
Condensed by Native Village
Three Affiliated Tribes is
worried about children playing
with potentially radioactive
filters. Used by the oil industry,
these filters are often illegally dumped in
fields, dumpsters and along
Edmund Baker is acting director of
the tribes’ Environmental
Division. He said filter socks
have been found in tribal
dumpsters and along Fort
Berthold Reservation roads,
especially near Mandaree and its
The filters look
like small nets that children
might mistake for a toy or
Baker issued a public notice
and will also attend meetings
around Fort Berthold to
educate the public on the
“This office is asking the
communities to report any
illegal activity regarding the
dumping or the abandoning of
these filters within our
boundaries,” he said.
The notice contains a special
procedure for sock disposals. No one should handle them.
Instead, they should be reported
to his tribal office at
627-4569, or his cell phone at
The filters are used to screen
oil well fluids that are injected into disposal
wells. These fluids may be concentrated with radioactive
materials that occur naturally
in the soil.
materials used for hydraulic
fracturing also are radioactive.
Baker said the radioactive exposure
is similar to getting an X-ray.
But if the material on the socks
is ingested hand to mouth,
it “can result in serious
health problems up to a
Baker was alerted to the
problem when a tribal garbage
delivery was stopped at a solid waste
landfill and fined for
attempting to bring in the
filter socks. The drivers were unaware
the socks were in their load.
They are trying to track down which
community was the point of
Baker said part of the problem
is that reservation communities
can be isolated and unaware of oil field
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