Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 28

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, many of them not all that small, which happen every year in the Bakken. And every one of them affects our land, our water and our air. And the critters for whom those three elements sustain life. Here are the number of spills reported to the Health Department year by year, since the boom began: 2009 -- 456 2010 -- 602 2011 -- 1,124 2012 -- 1,261 2013 -- 1,803 2014 -- 2,184 2015 -- 1,648 (That 2014 figure comes to an average of six spills every single day of the year, and each of them needs to be monitored by state agencies to be sure they’re cleaning them up, a massive effort. More, likely, than the agencies can handle. We just have to hope the companies are doing their job.) The Bakken Bust began in 2015, and you can see the resulting drop off in spills because of the drop off in activity in the Bakken. Want some good news? So far this year, as of August 30, we’ve had just 766 spills (only two a day, instead of six), and at this pace, in 2016 we’ll drop back below 2011 levels. But those are just numbers. It’s important to look behind the numbers at the spills themselves, what’s being spilled, where it’s being spilled, how it’s being cleaned up, and who is responsible. One name keeps coming up more than others concerning spills of some consequence, which sometimes result in two or three paragraph blurbs in the daily papers. That’s a company called Denbury Onshore. Here’s a recent Denbury history from the Health Department website: • August 29, 2016 -- 10,700 gallons of an oil and water mixture was spilled at a Denbury Onshore well site near Fryburg in Billings County. • August 10, 2016 -- 16,800 gallons of saltwater leaked from an oil well site operated by Denbury Onshore in Stark County. • August 9, 2016 -- A break in a pipeline owned by Denbury Onshore in Bowman County resulted in 1 68,000 gallons of saltwater flowing into a nearby creek. Cleanup is underway. • July 18, 2016 -- Denbury reported 84 gallons of oil leaked from a pipeline in Billings County. Health Department investigators later reported that the leak was actually 21,000 gallons of oil and 5,000 gallons of saltwater from an underground pipeline. A massive cleanup effort is underway. A Health Department follow-up report on August 18 said: “To date, 818.75 total bbl (34,387 gallons) of fluid (both water and oil) have been removed from the site.” • May 18, 2016 -- Multiple tanks at a Denbury Onshore well site overflowed, spilling 105,000 gallons of saltwater and 16,800 gallons of oil onto nearby land. WILD GAME PROCESSING! Stop In Today For These Special Services: RETAIL MEATS 1125 Memorial Hwy, Bismarck, ND ✔ Sausage & Jerky ✔ Curing & Smoking ✔ Seasoning & Casings ✔ Custom Slaughtering ✔ Custom Meat Processing and don't forget... 701-221-9142 Oct-April Mon-Fri 8am-6m Open Saturdays 8am-3pm May-Sept Mon-Fri 8am-5pm Closed Saturdays Page 28, Dakota Country, October 2016 Fish curing and smoking! www.dakotacountrymagazine.com