In North Dakota, the North Dakota Public Service Commission regulates the abandoned mine lands, coal mine reclamation, electric and gas utilities, telecommunications companies, energy conversion facility siting, transmission facility siting, railroads, grain elevators, facility-based grain buyers, roving grain buyers and hay buyers, auctioneers, auction clerks, weighing and measuring devices, pipeline safety, and underground damage prevention.
Prior to the establishment of the commission in 1940, all functions of the commission were performed by the North Dakota Railroad Commission. Presently, the commission consists of three commissioners. The commissioners are elected on a statewide basis for six-year terms.
The commission’s functions are:
- to protect the public interest;
- to regulate utility licensees in a fair, efficient, responsive, and cooperative manner;
- to provide safe and productive environment by reclaiming mined coal lands;
- to assure that utility customers of the state receive reliable and safe service at reasonable and just rates; and
- to assure that license and permit holders, and operators of commercial weighing and measuring devices operate in a safe and fair manner.
Generally, the Commission’s Reclamation Division is charged with the responsibility of administering the state’s program regulating the surface mining of coal.
Likewise, the Division of Community Services of the North Dakota Department of Commerce provides to the people of the state, effective, efficient, and customer oriented administration of federal and state programs with respect to community development, energy efficiency and renewable energy, housing, and self sufficiency. The division also administers a variety of programs to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy activities within the state through its Office of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (OREE).
Further, in order to conduct and manage certain utilities, industries, enterprises, and business projects established by state law, on behalf of the State, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) was created by the legislature in 1919. The NDIC through its Oil and Gas Division (OGD) regulates the oil and gas exploration and production activities in the state. The OGD encourages and promotes the development, production, and utilization of oil and gas in the state in a manner that will prevent waste, maximize economic recovery, and fully protect the correlative rights of all owners.
Moreover, the Environmental Health Section (EHS) of the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH) regulates and safeguards the quality of North Dakota’s air, land, and water resources.