Pipe spills oilfield wastewater in Missouri River tributary

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s Health Department says an estimated 21,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater has spilled from a pipeline near Williston and some of it entered an unnamed tributary to the Missouri River.

State environmental scientist Bill Suess (sees) says the pipeline operator, Polar Midstream LLC, reported the produced water spill Sunday.

Produced water is a mixture of saltwater and oil that can contain drilling chemicals. It’s a byproduct of oil and gas development.

In this July 10, 2014 file photo, saltwater leaks into a stream from a massive saltwater spill from an underground pipeline on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation near Mandaree, N.D. Scientists say wastewater spills from oil development in western North Dakota are releasing toxins into soils and waterways. In a report published Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Duke University researchers say they detected high levels of lead, ammonium and other contaminants in surface waters affected by recent wastewater spills in the Bakken oilfield region. (AP Photo/Tyler Bell, File)

Suess says the spill occurred about 20 miles east of Williston and about a mile from Lake Sakakawea, the largest reservoir on the Missouri River.

Suess says it does not appear the spill reached the lake. He says the pipeline has been shut down and the spill area has been dammed.

Categories: North Dakota News