Pipeline breach spills 50,000 gallons of oil into Yellowstone River

Repost from KRTV News, Great Falls, MT

Water safety concerns exist following oil leak near Glendive

By Dustin Klemann – MTN News, Billings, January 18, 2015

GLENDIVE — An oil leak near Glendive has emergency crews mobilizing to assess the damage and begin cleanup.

The leak from a pipeline was confirmed to have happened Saturday around 10:00am.

At this time it’s estimated that as much as 1,200 barrels, or roughly 50,000 gallons, of oil could have spilled into the Yellowstone River.

Bridger Pipeline, the company in charge confirmed the release of crude oil from its Poplar pipeline system.

The initial estimate by Bridger was between 300 and 1,200 barrels.

Reports indicate that the pipeline was shut down shortly before 11:00 am Saturday.

Local, state, and federal authorities have been notified and emergency crews started travel to the site on Sunday afternoon.

Governor Steve Bullocks communication director David Parker said it was his understanding that the river at the crossing where the spill occurred was frozen; that has not been confirmed.

No one was injured in the leak, however concerns over the safety and usability of water in the area do exist.

Dawson County Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator Mary Jo Gehnert said, “I am not saying the water is unsafe. I am not saying it is safe. We are waiting for officials to arrive who can make that decision.”

The City of Glendive Water Plant did not detect anything unusual on Sunday.

However, a Glendive viewer informs MTN that their drinking water does have the smell of diesel.

We’ll keep you updated as developments happen and when more details are confirmed.