Sunday, July 03, 2011

Oil Pipeline Breach Fouls Yellowstone River

A pipeline running underneath the Yellowstone River ruptured and dumped up to 1,000 barrels of oil into the river in Montana that runs from the national park of the same name into North Dakota. It's fouled a 25 mile stretch and it will be up to Exxon Mobil to clean up the mess (they operate the pipeline).
An Exxon Mobil spokeswoman, Pam Malek, said the pipe leaked an estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels of oil for about half an hour before it was shut down. Other Exxon officials estimate up to 42,000 gallons (158,982 litres) of crude oil escaped.

Duane Winslow, Yellowstone county director of disaster and emergency services, said the plume was dissipating as it moved downstream.

"We're just kind of waiting for it to move on down while Exxon is trying to figure out how to corral this monster," Winslow said.

"The timing couldn't be worse," said Steve Knecht, chief of operations for Montana disaster and emergency services. "With the Yellowstone running at flood stage and all the debris, it makes it dang tough to get out there to do anything."

He said the plume was measured at 25 miles near Pompeys Pillar national monument.

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