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NDSU program aims to limit road dust in oil patch

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WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State University researchers are working on ways to reduce road dust caused by the rapid development of the state's oil patch.

The school said it will spend $350,000 on projects that will range from studying health impacts on crops and livestock to creating technologies to control road dust emissions.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani said the impact of the increased oil traffic and associated road dust is not fully known.

"As a land-grant institution, we strive to engage in activities such as this one to benefit the state and its citizens," Bresciani said. "Such research programs also present opportunities for students who can see the impact that they can make by being involved in research, using their skills in real world applications that can ultimately benefit communities."

Oil production in North Dakota surpassed 1 million barrels per day in June, ranking the state second only to Texas. There are more than 10,600 wells in production with the potential for thousands of additional wells to be developed.

The Williston Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1tGHlcZ ) that NDSU will begin awarding grants on Sept. 1. The amounts will range from up to $15,000 for individual research projects and up to $60,000 for teams of researchers.

"Research can measure the amount of dust emitted from road traffic, quantify the types of road dust emitted, evaluate the impacts dust has on agriculture, humans, and the ecosystem, and develop strategies that help mitigate road dust emissions," said Kelly A. Rusch, vice president for research and creative activity at NDSU.

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Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

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