Way up in northern North Dakota lies an old oilfield with a problem 60 years in the making.
It’s noticeable on farmers’ land, like the fields harvested by Clarke Stevens near the small town of Glenburn.
His wheat fields span far across the prairie. In the middle is a 3-acre patch of barren soil.
“We’re always farming around areas like this, and every year they continue to grow,” Stevens said.
This is the site of an old brine pit. Decades ago, trucks took this salty wastewater — produced alongside oil from nearby wells — and dumped it into this pit.