ExxonMobil now can add Yellowstone RIver to it’s long list of environmental “accidents.” Between 750 and 1,000 barrels of crude-oil have spilled into the iconic river near Billings, Montana after a 12-inch pipeline ruptured late Friday under the pressure of high flood waters, according to the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The agency announced that the oil spill may have affected an area as large as 250 miles.
Exxon was warned again by city officials, after a temporary shutdown in May, that there were major concerns regarding the potential rise of the Yellowstone River. The “accident” didn’t harm any humans and over 150 residents from the contaminated area were evacuated. Along with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Coast Guard, PHMSA is working around the affected area to determine the cause of the incident.
As of today, there’s no timeline for when the clean-up will begin, which will give a clearer picture of how much the ExxonMobil spill will cost and how much damage this spill taxed the environment.
The 69-mile pipeline, which delivers oil to Exxon’s Billings refinery, was cleared by PHMSA last month after the agency found no issues with the data presented to them from inside the pipeline during the reports period from 2005-2009. Nevertheless, Laurel, Montana city officials originally voiced anxiety over the pipeline’s integrity late last year, citing the potential of rising waters as a major safety hazard.
In a Democracy Now exclusive, Alexis Bonogofsky, who lives 10 miles away, spoke about the Exxon oil:
Usually when you go down there [near the river] in the evening … all you can hear is amphibians. It’s frogs, it’s toads, a lot of insects, crickets and birds, says Bonogofsky. Right now you walk down there at dusk and you don’t hear anything.
“Mother Nature” is striking back! Let’s all heed the warnings!