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ATMOSPHERIC RESOURCE BOARD
(formerly the Weather Modification Board)
[NDCC Section 61-04.1-03.1]

The Weather Modification Board was created in 1975, and was a part of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (S. L. 1975, Ch. 50). It has three purposes: to regulate weather modification activities within the state, to cost-share with counties the expense of conducting operational cloud modification programs, and to undertake research aimed at advancing the science and technology of weather modification.

In 1981, the Weather Modification Board became a quasi-independent division of the State Water Commission (S. L. 1981, Ch. 631). In the mid 1980s, a concerted effort of funding cloud research was introduced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Weather Modification Board along with scientists and research laboratories acquired a better understanding of rain and hail in thunderstorms, improving efficiency of seeding agents, and refining the methods used by projects pilots and meteorologists. The federal program continued until 1994.

The Board was renamed the Atmospheric Resource Board in 1987 (S.L. 1987, Ch. 631) and through legislation functioned within the State Water Commission.

The ten member board consisted of seven appointed members, the director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, a representative from the Environmental Control Services Division of the State Health Department, and the State Engineer. North Dakota Century Code [Section 61-04.1-05] delineated the seven districts around the state from which the Governor selects the appointed members (S.L. 1999, Ch. 538).

Program areas included: administration, operation, research and evaluation, and state-federal cooperative research. The Board reviewed regulations governing cloud modification procedures to ensure they are environmentally prudent, safety oriented, and at the forefront of developing technology. The Board was actively involved with a variety of organizations such as the Weather Modification Association, the Northern American Interstate Weather Modification Council, and the American Meteorological Society.

A major program of the Board was the North Dakota Cloud Modification Project (NDCMP) covering an area of 10,500 square miles in western North Dakota, including Bowman, McKenzie, Mountrail, Ward, Williams, and part of Slope counties. Designated aircraft, airports, and staff carried out the goals of NDCMP. County funds came from a mill levy. In 1997, counties were given authority to establish or abolish their Modification Boards (S. L. 1997, Ch.108).

On August 1, 1995, (S. L. 1995, Ch. 243) the Atmospheric Resource Board became a division of the State Water Commission and it continues the responsibility of administering cloud seeding activities in the state, weather modification research, research and development, and weather-related data collection.

The North Dakota Atmospheric Resource Board (NDARB) is comprised of seven members appointed by the Governor, each representing a geographic district. Members serve four-year terms and are selected from a list of three candidates submitted by districts with weather modification authorities. Ex-officio members from the Aeronautics Commission, the Environmental Division of the Department of Health, and the State Engineer also serve on the board. The Board sets policies and makes decisions regarding the operation of all NDARB activities.

CHRONOLOGY

1975 Created as the North Dakota Weather Modification Board, a division of the State Aeronautics Commission.

1981 The Board became a part of the Water Commission functioning as a quasi-judicial, quasi-legislative, and rulemaking department with its own budget and general fund appropriations.

1987 Renamed the Atmospheric Resource Board.

1994 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funding discontinued.

1995 Renamed the Atmospheric Resource Division of the State Water Commission.

1997 Established county boards and shared costs with counties.

1999 Authorized to license qualified contractors.

2003 Atmospheric Resource Board regulates the statewide industry.

SERIES

30838 Weather Modification Board Minutes
30839 Forecast Records
30840 Flight Reports
30841 Meteorological Reports
30842 Cloud Seeding Maps
30843 Precipitation Report Cards
30834 Satellite Photographs
30845 Rainfall and Cloud Seeding Activity Reports
30846 Scrapbooks
30847 North Dakota Weather Modification Association, Inc., Records
30848 South Dakota Weather Modification Association Agency Records
31762 Project Files

SOURCES:

Atmospheric Resource Board Website.
Gray, David P. Guide to the North Dakota State Archives, 1985.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota Session Laws.

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