Glendive Montana

Montana Takes Over Glendive Oil Spill Cleanup

Mar 26, 2015

Two and a half months after a pipeline ruptured, spilling 30,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River at Glendive, The federal Environmental Protection Agency has handed over the management of the cleanup effort. Jeni Flatow with Montana DEQ says federal law allows the EPA to take charge of “emergency responses," and the Montana spill no longer qualifies.

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

Glendive's water supply was shut down briefly this weekend due to contamination from the January 17 oil spill into the Yellowstone River.

Equipment installed near Glendive's water intake system detected elevated levels of volatile organic compounds early Saturday morning.

That prompted city officials to issue an advisory to conserve water. That forced residents to rely on bottle water through the weekend.

That advisory has since been lifted.

Bridger Pipeline Company

Oil could soon start flowing again through a pipeline that was shut down in January after spilling 30,000 gallons of crude into Montana's Yellowstone River near Glendive.

Crews and federal inspectors are testing the integrity of a fifty-mile section of that pipeline. Bridger Pipeline spokesman Bill Salvin describes the re-starting process as, "slow, methodical, safe and designed to ensure that everything along the pipeline is working exactly as it needs to work."

The spill temporarily contaminated Glendive's water supply.

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

Bridger Pipeline Company Tuesday opened a claims center in Glendive for people affected by the January 17 break of their pipeline that spilled an estimated 28,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone river.

"That’s why we have the claim center set up, so businesses, residents and even local governments that have incurred added expense, because of this incident, which we’ve taken responsibility for, that we can reimburse them for those expenses," said Bridger Pipeline spokesman Bill Salvin.

Glendive residents can resume drinking from their taps after a federal official said there are no further signs of contamination from last Saturday’s crude oil spill into the Yellowstone River six miles upstream. The Environmental Protection Agency says test results no longer show elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene in the municipal water supply.