Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 27

Oil pipes stacked up outside of Richardton await transport. pipeline and send the company back to the drawing board. All of us who value and enjoy the outdoors in the Dakotas should cheer that. The Tribes are carrying our water for us, so to speak. They’re not only concerned about the pipeline crossing sacred cultural sites near their reservation, they’re concerned about their drinking water. We should be very concerned as well, about our fishery and the recreational value of Lake Oahe. Because pipelines leak. In February of 2015, an oil pipeline under the Yellowstone River owned by Bridger Pipeline Company broke just upstream of Glendive, Montana, and 50,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the river. There were reports of oil as far north as the Fort Union area in North Dakota, not far from where the river flows into the Missouri. Montana and North Dakota officials think they have recovered all the oil. And Glendive has rebuilt its water treatment plant. Earlier, in 2011, more than 60,000 gallons leaked from an Exxon Mobil pipeline upstream on the Yellowstone from this spill, and oil was found on the shoreline as far as 85 miles downstream. All of this talk got me to thinking about pipeline leaks and oil spills in Bakken Country (Bakken Hell, Bill Mitzel calls it). I wondered how the state has fared since the bust began. We last visited this subject in June of 2015, when I reported on two big spills that affected our outdoor interests: • In 2013, a Tesoro pipeline in northwest North Dakota burst and spilled 865,000 gallons of oil across the prairie, the worst landbased oil spill in U.S. history. • In late December 2014, a pipeline carrying saltwater sprang a big leak, and it went undiscovwww.dakotacountrymagazine.com ered for almost two weeks, spilling nearly three million gallons of saltwater into Blacktail Creek near Williston. Blacktail Creek runs into the Little Muddy River, which runs into the Missouri River at Williston. The Health Department says it will take at least 5 years to clean up the mess. Since then, there’s been another big one. Last October, a pipe burst at an oil well site just 1,000 feet from the White Earth River in Mountrail County, sending more than half a million gallons of a mixture of salt water and oil high into the air, coating everything within a thousand feet, including the White Earth River, which runs into Lake Sakakawea. Those are the big spills, the ones that made headlines. But It’s In The Details 701.222.8952 LIFETIME WARRANTY 3148 East Thayer Avenue PAINTLESS DENT REPAIR www.MetroCollisionInc.com Serving the Bismarck area since 1986! Dakota Country, October 2016, Page 27