North Dakota pipeline spill cleanup may take weeks
MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — Company and tribal officials say a pipeline on North Dakota's Fort Berthold Indian reservation has leaked 1 million gallons of saltwater, with some of the fluid finding its way to a bay that leads to a lake that provides drinking water for the reservation.
Cleanup continued there today and Miranda Jones, vice president of environmental safety and regulatory at Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Services Inc., said it was expected to last for weeks.
Jones said the leak at the underground pipeline, owned by Crestwood subsidiary Aero Pipeline LLC, likely started over the Fourth of July weekend but was only discovered Tuesday. The pipeline was not equipped with a system that sends an alert when there is a leak, she said, and the spill was only discovered when the company was going through production loss reports.
"This is something no company wants on their record, and we are working diligently to clean it up," Jones said.
An unknown amount of the fluid entered Bear Den Bay. That bay leads to Lake Sakakawea, which provides water for the reservation, occupied by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes in the heart of western North Dakota's booming oil patch. But company and tribal officials said the spill has been isolated and contained and has not impacted the lake.