North Dakota officials monitor water near fertilizer spill | national news
(The Center Square) – The North Dakota State Department of Environmental Quality is monitoring surface waters about 33 miles south of Fargo, where a liquid fertilizer spill recently occurred.
Minn-Kota Ag Products notified the department of a spill estimated at more than 11,000 gallons. Fertilizer spilled from a leaking aboveground storage tank onto the surrounding property and into a nearby drainage ditch.
“The release came from a pin-sized hole in the tank,” Taylor DeVries, environmental scientist with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, told The Center Square. “Minn-Kota Ag Products estimates the release to begin when they received the fertilizer shipment and put it in the tank, which was last winter (2021). The exact release date is unknown. “
DeVries said the responsible party collects water and soil data for laboratory analysis. The vertical and horizontal delineation is still being determined at this time.
“According to the 10-34-0 fertilizer safety data sheets, it is non-toxic to aquatic organisms and animals with low bioaccumulation potential,” DeVries said. “The concern for surface waters is the fertilizer promoting the growth of algae which then reduces the supply of oxygen to the water. This can lead to the death of fish. And the concern for groundwater is the addition nitrites, which can be harmful to human health, especially infants.
When asked how future spills of this nature could be avoided, DeVries said, “Future leaks can be avoided with proper maintenance and inspections of equipment by the business owner.”
Minn-Kota Ag Products is a grain marketing and production agricultural supply company that helps area farmers meet their chemical, fertilizer, seed and grain bin needs. The company is located in the southern Red River Valley, western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.