Everyone is really surprised, right?
The next day, North Dakota’s State Health Department spill investigation team was dispatched to the western part of the state — about 200 miles from the protest camps at Standing Rock — to contain a crude oil spill from a different pipeline.
The spill, which was detected Monday, has sent an unknown volume of crude oil into the Ash Coulee Creek. The pipeline is operated by Belle Fourche Pipeline Co., which has reported 10 spills since 2010, totaling 4,848 barrels of oil and costing $2.26 million in property damage. Belle Fourche’s parent company, True Companies of Wyoming, also has a history of major pipeline spills: In 2015, a pipeline operated by Bridger Pipeline, which is owned by True Companies, spilled around 1,200 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana.
But True Companies is far from the only pipeline company with a history of spills in North Dakota. According to new analysis released by the Center for Biological Diversity, North Dakota has averaged four pipeline spills a year since 1996, costing more than $40 million in property damage.
The potential for a spill was one of the primary reasons protesters at Standing Rock — who call themselves water protectors — opposed the Dakota Access pipeline. The pipeline had originally been slated to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck; the water protectors at Standing Rock contend that the pipeline was rerouted due to concerns that a spill could taint the water supply of communities in and around Bismarck, which is predominantly white.
Gee, big oil is just so concerned about safety, spills, and are so rigorous in regard to construction, aren’t they? Insert one ginormous eyeroll here.
Full story is at Think Progress. Also up there: The next Standing Rock: Fossil fuel battles loom across North America.