Speed Reads

Oil Spills

Montana declares state of emergency over pipeline spill, oily drinking water

On Monday night, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) declared a state of emergency for two counties on the Yellowstone River, after a pipeline over the river burst on Saturday morning, contaminating the drinking water. Bridger Pipeline LLC, which operates the 12-inch Poplar pipeline, estimates that 300 to 1,200 barrels (2,600 to 50,400 gallons) of light Bakken crude dumped into the Yellowstone before the pipeline was shut off.

The spill happened about nine miles upstream of the town of Glendive, and 220 miles upstream of Billings. Montana officials are urging residents of Glendive and other nearby towns to drink bottled water until testing determines if the drinking water is safe for consumption. The Poplar spill follows a 2011 spill in the Yellowstone from an ExxonMobil pipeline, which poured about 1,500 barrels into the river.