A diesel pipeline in Wyoming, which is currently being sued by federal prosecutors for oil spills in two other states, have had another spillage that leaked 45,000 gallons of diesel, state regulators and a company representative confirmed on Friday.
The other lawsuits are for a 50,000-gallon oil spill in the Yellowstone River in Montana and a 2016 spill in North Dakota that leaked 600,000 gallons of oil.
Bridger Pipeline, who are a subsidiary of Casper-based True companies, operate the line and they provided an accident report which submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center.
Initially, Bridger Pipeline stated that only 420 gallons (1,590 liters) had spilled, but later on, they updated their estimate to 45,150 gallons (205,250 liters), according to a National Response Center database.
Bridger Pipeline spokesperson Bill Salvin said in a statement that the initial figure given was based on the oil their staff were able to locate on the ground, which was reported straight away. The estimated volume spiked as the site was excavated, Salvin confirmed.
“We’re focused on minimizing the environmental impact and we’re going to replace the soil and restore the land as close as possible to its original condition,” Salvin went on to say.
Cleanup work for the oil spill in Montana is underway. The oil made its way onto private ranchland near the small town of Essex in eastern Wyoming, Joe Hunter, Emergency Response Coordinator with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, confirmed.
Hunter said that the spill was created by a crack at a weld in the line. He added that the spillage did not reach any waterways, nor did it cause any environmental breaches. Hunter said that “It’s an older pipeline and it’s one of those things that happen.”
Kenneth Clarkson with the Pipeline Safety Trust expressed the need for a thorough internal investigation to be done into how this has happened again.
“It’s frustrating to hear of another spill by Bridger Pipeline LLC,” Clarkson said. “This spill of 45,000-plus gallons of diesel into rural Wyoming negatively impacts the environment, wildlife, and surrounding communities.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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