North Dakota crude pipeline shut down after spill

North Dakota crude pipeline shut down after spill
A crude oil transmission pipeline has been shut down in western North Dakota following a leak that spilled oil into a creek. The state’s health department said it has sent personnel to the site.

"A series of booms have been placed across the creek to prevent downstream migration and a siphon dam has been constructed four miles downstream of the release point," Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager for the North Dakota Department of health, said, according to Reuters.

The health agency said the spill was discovered on Monday and an unknown volume of oil leaked from the pipeline operated by Bell Fourche Pipeline Company into Ash Coulee Creek, 16 miles northwest of Belfield in Billings County. The leak is 200 miles away from protests taking place over the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

Personnel from the health department are at the site and the agency will continue to monitor the investigation.

A leak from a six-inch pipeline prompted the shutdown. The 783 mile pipeline transports crude oil in the Williston Basin of western North Dakota and eastern Montana, according to the company website.

It is not the first time the Bell Fourche Pipeline has had a spill.

According to records from US Department of Transportation, the company has had 10 reported spills over the past five years. Those spills accounted for the loss of nearly 5,000 barrels of oil and caused $2.26 million in property damage.

The federal agency has complained six times in warning letters about the company’s laxity and lack of integrity.

RT called Bell Fourche Pipeline Company for comment with no response.

The leak occurred as Native Americans, climate activists and others protested at the Dakota Access pipeline project site over concerns a leak there could contaminate the water supply.

At the weekend they were rewarded with the news that the Army Corps of Engineers, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, denied Energy Transfer Partners a permit for building the pipeline under the Missouri River at the current site, and pending an environmental review. The review could take anywhere from six months to a year.