July 07, 2011
Difficult Cleanup Continues After Yellowstone River Oil Spill
By Chad Love
Workers in Montana are still struggling to clean up after a ruptured oil pipeline dumped thousands of gallons of oil in to the Yellowstone river. Meanwhile, local residents are becoming frustrated at the lack of communications from officials.
From this story in USA Today:
Residents along portions of the oil-contaminated Yellowstone River are expressing frustration over the lack of information flowing from ExxonMobil, state and federal officials following last weekend's pipeline burst. An ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under the Yellowstone River near Laurel, Mont. ruptured near midnight Friday and leaked hundreds of barrels of oil into the river, contaminating riverbanks and flooding fields for miles. Montana Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer estimates that the contamination may have spread more than 270 miles downstream into North Dakota.
North Dakota Water Quality Director Dennis Fewless said that he's been in contact with Montana officials and the Environmental Protection Agency. He says officials are taking water samples in the Williston area as a precaution. Company and federal officials said they have only seen oil about 25 miles downstream from the site of the break near Laurel.
Meanwhile, affected landowners are wondering what the short- and long-term effects of the contamination could mean for their families, livestock and wildlife along the river corridor.