Cleanup area extends nearly 2 miles after 1M gallon spill

(AP Photo/Josh Wood)
(AP Photo/Josh Wood)

MANDAREE, North Dakota (AP) – A company official says the path of brine that spilled from a North Dakota pipeline extends nearly 2 miles down a steep ravine.

Miranda Jones, vice president of Crestwood Midstream Partners Inc., says the cause of the spill appears to involve a separation of the pipe that carries oil-drilling saltwater. Crestwood subsidiary Arrow Pipeline LLC owns the pipeline.

Jones says the path of the brine is 8,240 feet long and an area of dead vegetation extends about 200 yards from the source of the spill. It’s estimated at about 1 million gallons.

Crews are carrying equipment down the steep badlands by hand because of the rough topography.

The EPA is checking to make sure none of the brine reached a lake used for drinking water by an American Indian reservation.

Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall tells The Associated Press that the underground pipeline owned by Aero Pipeline LCC leaked about 24,000 barrels, about 1 million gallons. The company says the leak likely started over the weekend and was discovered Tuesday.

Aero Pipeline is a subsidiary of Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Partners.

Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production that’s 10 to 30 times saltier than seawater.

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