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Drilling Waste Management Information System: The information resource for better management of drilling wastes
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State Regulations: North Dakota

State of North Dakota

The North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), through its Oil and Gas Division (OGD), is the regulatory agency for oil and gas exploration and production activities in North Dakota. The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH) Environmental Health Section (EHS) has the responsibility to safeguard the quality of North Dakota's air, land, and water resources.


North Dakota Industrial Commission
Oil and Gas Division
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 405
Bismarck, ND 58505-0840
(701) 328-8020 (phone)
(701) 328-8022 (fax)

North Dakota Department of Health
Environmental Health Section
1200 Missouri Avenue
P.O. Box 5520
Bismarck, ND 58506-5520
(701) 328-5150 (phone)
(701) 328-5200 (fax)

Disposal Practices and Applicable Regulations

The statutes and rules for oil and gas have been published in the Rulebook.

The rules administered by the OGD are codified in Title 43 (Industrial Commission), Article 43-02 (Mineral Exploration and Development), Chapter 43-02-03 (Oil and Gas Conservation), of the North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC).

  • Section 43-02-03-19.2 (Disposal of Waste) requires that all waste associated with exploration or production must be properly disposed of in an authorized facility in accord with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations. This is not to be construed to require offsite disposal of drilling mud or drill cuttings.

  • Section 43-02-03-19 (Reserve Pit for Drilling Mud and Drill Cuttings) allows utilization of a reserve pit to contain solids and fluids used and generated during well drilling and completion operations, providing the pit can be constructed, used, and reclaimed in a manner that will prevent pollution of the land surface and freshwaters. Top water must be removed from the reserve pit. A reserve pit shall not be located in or hazardously near water bodies, nor shall it block natural drainages. No reserve pit shall be wholly or partially constructed in fill dirt, unless approved.

  • The OGD has developed a Policy for Onsite Downhole Disposal of Drilling Fluids, which provides guidelines for one-time annular disposal and open-hole disposal in the well of origin.

  • The regulations governing underground injection control in connection with oil and gas operations are published in Chapter 43-02-05.

  • The Standards of Quality for Waters of the State, Solid Waste Management and Land Protection, and Hazardous Waste Management are administered by the Division of Water Quality and the Division of Waste Management in the NDDH Environmental Health Section.