Just 200 miles from Cannon Ball, North Dakota, where water protectors have been preventing the completion of the Dakota Access pipeline, a different North Dakota pipeline has leaked, poisoning nearby water.
The pipeline, a six-inch crude oil pipeline operated by the Belle Fourche Pipeline Company, was shut down after the leak was discovered on Monday, but the threat to local drinking water and the surrounding environment remain.
The spill caused oil to leak into the Ash Coulee Creek in Billings County. The amount of oil that was spilled is currently unknown, but is “significant” according to Bill Suess, a spill investigation program manager for the North Dakota Department of health.
Suess also said that “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.”
The pipeline, which is over 700 miles long, is 16 miles northwest of Belfield, North Dakota. The company that owns the pipeline, Belle Fourche, is responsible for spilling over a quarter-million gallons of oil between 2006 and 2014 in 21 pipeline spills. The company also owns and operates a separate pipeline company, Bridger Pipeline LLC, which has had nine pipeline incidents, spilling 11,000 gallons of oil, between 2006 and 2014.
In 2015 a Bridger pipeline spilled 50,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River.
According to a federal regulator, “Bridger has a poor compliance history.” They have also been known to operate without a permit.
Local news have mentioned the event, but mainstream media outlets have ignored news of the spill.
Pipelines spill, it’s just a fact. And this is part of the reason our water protectors are risking their lives in sub-zero temperatures to keep the North Dakota pipeline from becoming a reality.
Help us spread the word about this recent spill and the dangers of oil pipelines, as the Standing Rock Sioux, U.S. veterans, and others, continue to stand up to the Dakota Access Pipeline and Big Oil at Standing Rock.