Yellowstone River oil spill: Up to 50,000 gallons released.

Pipeline Break Releases up to 50,000 Gallons of Oil Into Yellowstone River

Pipeline Break Releases up to 50,000 Gallons of Oil Into Yellowstone River

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Jan. 20 2015 1:33 PM

Pipeline Break Releases up to 50,000 Gallons of Oil Into Yellowstone River

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Cleanup workers responding to a similar Yellowstone River spill in 2011.

John Warner/Reuters

Up to 50,000 gallons of oil may have been released into the Yellowstone River in Montana when a 12-inch pipeline ruptured on Saturday, reports say. (For comparison: The infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska involved 11 million gallons.) The pipeline carries oil extracted from the Bakken formation, which in recent years has been the site of a fracking-driven boom that has contributed to the drastic drop in gas prices.

A similar spill in 2011 cost an estimated $135 million to clean up; one Montana activist and landowner has already said the new spill is a reminder of the potential hazards of the long-pending Keystone XL pipeline. Some local residents have been told not to drink tap water for the time being, and Montana’s governor has declared a state of emergency.

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The rupture occurred near the town of Glendive, which is several hundred miles away, and downriver, from Yellowstone National Park.