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North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality established after separation from Health Department

North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality established after separation from Health Department

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North Dakota state Capitol

The North Dakota state Capitol in Bismarck is offset by flowers in full bloom in June 2018.

North Dakota's new Department of Environmental Quality became effective Monday after separating from the state Department of Health. 

State lawmakers in 2017 passed legislation creating the standalone environmental regulatory agency, with a date of July 1 by which to obtain approval and amend any agreements with federal, public and private entities to continue to meet necessary requirements. 

The new department is essentially the same as the former Environmental Health Section of the North Dakota Department of Health, administering and enforcing environmental protection programs. Director Dave Glatt reports to Gov. Doug Burgum. 

Supporters of the split pointed to efficiency and potential cost savings in the standalone department. 

“Preserving our natural resources is a top priority,” Burgum said in a statement. “In the spirit of reinventing government, this new agency gives our environmental team the autonomy it needs to be more efficient, flexible and better able to implement federal regulations.”

Lawmakers in their 2019 legislative session passed a $58.7 million two-year budget for the department. 

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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