Bismarck, ND - The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) will be holding a two day hazardous materials conference in Bismarck at the Ramkota Hotel. The conference will feature more than 20 different speakers and panelists, including keynote speaker, Captain George Burk, who was the sole survivor of a military plane crash in 1970.
"Our presenters consist of national, regional, and local leaders in hazardous materials preparedness, and planning," said Greg Wilz, ND Director of Homeland Security. "One notable presentation explores the incident command system and is specific to the Minot train derailment in 2002."
North Dakota is undergoing many changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and energy industries. Modern agriculture practices are utilizing additional chemicals in crop production. The advent of no-till farming and genetic engineered crops requires fertilizers and new and additional chemicals for control of weeds and insects. Coal mining and the usage of coal by the electrical generating plants and the manufacture of products such as synthetic natural gas and other products are growing. Oil exploration and drilling has increased tremendously in the last few years and the risks to local communities are increasing. New and larger pipelines that carry energy related products are being built and proposed across the state.
"When you combine all these changes the result is an increased amount of hazardous materials being manufactured, stored, transported, and used throughout the state," said Wilz. "Our purpose over the two days is to provide valuable information that will assist private industry, first responders, such as law enforcement officials and firefighters, as well as local, state, tribal, and federal government officials in keeping the public safe."