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EPA to open environmental crimes office in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is establishing an environmental crimes office in North Dakota.

The EPA's Criminal Investigation Division is opening an office in Bismarck to address issues in the state's western oil patch.

EPA spokeswoman Lisa McClain-Vanderpool says the agency signed an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rent office space in Bismarck. She says four agents from Denver and Helena, Montana, will use the office for investigations.

U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon says he has been pushing to bring environmental crime investigators to North Dakota. He says he hopes the office is the first step toward getting permanent agents assigned to the state.