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Hazardous materials conference to be held in Bismarck

Posted on 11/17/2008

November 17, 2008701-328-8100

Bismarck, ND - The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) will be holding a two day hazardous materials conference in Bismarck at the Radisson Inn. The conference will feature more than 15 different speakers and panelists, including Jim Knoy, a senior planner and policy analyst for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.

"Our presenters and panelists consist of national, regional and local leaders in hazardous materials preparedness and planning," said Greg Wilz, ND Director of Homeland Security. "The conference is a great opportunity to see what changes have occurred since our last conference which was held many years ago."

North Dakota is undergoing many changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and the 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."

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