North Dakota is making steps in ecotourism, with its Department of Health receiving numerous top honors in sustainable achievement.
The Environmental Section of the North Dakota Department of Health consists of five divisions: Air Quality, Municipal Facilities, Water Quality, Waste Management and Laboratory Services. Two of these divisions have received recent recognition for efforts in environmental protection.
In April 2009, the American Lung Association released its 10th annual American State of the Air report (see www.lungusa.org). The report ranks cities and counties most affected by the three most widespread types of pollution: ozone (or smog); annual particle pollution; and 24-hour particle pollution levels. Only one city in the nation -- Fargo, North Dakota -- ranked among the cleanest in all three air pollution categories. North Dakota maintained attainment status for all state and national Ambient Air Quality Standards. North Dakota is one of only 11 states that met all federal ambient air quality standards during the 2005-2007 biennium.
- In May 2006, the Department of Health’s Drinking Water Program received EPA’s Commitment to Excellence Award for providing consistently high quality and reliable data to EPA for the past 15 years and for its commitment to protecting public health.
- In November 2008, North Dakota became part of the Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN), a network of water/wastewater utilities helping utilities to respond to and recover from emergencies.
- The year 2008 marked a notable milestone for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Programs. Since their inception in the 1990s, loans totaling more than a half a billion dollars ($530 million) have been issued to North Dakota communities to address wastewater and drinking water compliance and infrastructure needs.
- The compliance rate (approximately 95 percent) of North Dakota community water systems with health-based standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act continues to be among the highest in the region and nation.