Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 26

Badlands Watch Oil spills and pipelines Jim Fuglie “... what you don’t read about, unless you’re a regular visitor to the North Dakota Health Department’s website, are the thousands -- yes, I said thousands -- of smaller spills...” Page 26, Dakota Country, October 2016 Thousands of oil spills, most from pipelines, continue to plague the Bakken. Are they being cleaned up adequately? I It’s not easy to move oil out of North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to eastern refineri es. At least not as easy as oil companies at work in the Bakken had hoped it would be. I guess the good news is, every day North Dakota’s Bakken Bust continues, there’s less of it to ship. But still, a lot. About a million barrels of oil every day. 42 million gallons. Pipelines were supposed to be the answer, when people started getting gun-shy of oil trains after a series of derailments resulting in spectacular explosions and leaks into rivers and other water sources. But pipelines have their own set of issues, which are just now coming to the front, after demonstrations, whistle blowers and court cases are taking over the headlines. Most visible is the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing of Lake Oahe on the border of the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. The future of that pipeline is being decided in a courtroom as I write this in early September. With new evidence surfacing almost daily on things like incomplete cultural resource surveys, I’m betting the courts will side with the Tribes affected by the www.dakotacountrymagazine.com