In the early 1980s the State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation determined that drilling waste disposal practices at the oil fields on the North Slope were not adequately protecting the environment. New regulations were promulgated in October, 1987 that required improved containment of wastes and better monitoring of waste disposal sites. Industry and the state have been working together to develop methods that will meet the requirements of the new regulations and a number of these methods have been tried in the field over the past few years. The methods, including waste reduction, injection of drilling wastes, deep hole burial using permafrost for containment, shallow hole burial using permafrost for containment, and treatment of waste for use as construction material, are discussed in context with the status in the development of each technology, concerns for each technology that the state has, and regulatory schemes that have been developed for each technology. Great strides in a number of these options have occurred over the past five years; however, extensive data on the new technologies have not been gathered and it is anticipated that refinement of them will continue for the foreseeable future.

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