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EPA: Glendive Drinking Water Could Be Restored Today

Guardian Reporter Alleges Assault By US House Candidate Greg Gianforte

Update 5:45 p.m., 01/21/15: The EPA now says it's unlikely that Glendive's drinking water system will be back online tonight.

Authorities in Glendive are scrambling to decontaminate the town’s drinking water system following Saturday’s oil spill into the Yellowstone River. Glendive residents were advised to not drink or cook with town tap water starting Sunday, after toxic benzene from the oil spill was detected in the system, which draws water from the Yellowstone.
Paul Peronard with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency thinks decontamination is nearly complete.
“It’s our hope to have the entire distribution system back on line by the end of the day today.”
Peronard added that he believes most of the estimated 40,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from Bridger Pipeline’s pipe is still in the river upstream of where Glendive draws its drinking water. But he says steps have been taken that should keep contamination out of the treatment plant, and from flowing to peoples’ taps.

Listen to the full interview with the EPA's Paul Peronard to hear more about the cleanup efforts.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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