ExxonMobil Pipeline Company reported an undetermined amount of crude oil was released into the Yellowstone River from one of its pipelines in Montana early on the morning of July 2. The release originated from a 12” crude pipeline operated by EMPCo that runs from Silver Tip, MT to Billings, MT. The pipeline has been shutdown and the segment where the release occurred has been isolated, according to ExxonMobil.

The company provided the following update on July 3:

  • More than 120 people were involved in the response and cleanup effort including ExxonMobil’s North America Regional Response Team, the Clean Harbors oil spill response organization, and additional contractors. An additional 80 people were expected on site Monday.

  • For the purposes of the response, the area downriver of the spill has been organized into four zones. Cleanup activities are focused in the first two zones, Laurel to Duck Creek Bridge, a distance of seven miles from the spill location, and Duck Creek Bridge to Johnson Lane (12 miles). Reconnaissance and evaluation activities are under way in the second two zones, Johnson Lane to Miles City (144 miles) and Miles City to Glendive (78 miles).

  • Cleanup crews are using absorbent pads to soak up oil, boom to isolate oil that has pooled adjacent to the river and vacuum trucks and tankers to pick up and dispose of the oil.

  • Air quality monitoring is ongoing and has confirmed no danger to public health. Municipal water systems are being notified to monitor water quality but no reports of impacts have been received to date.

  • Daily aerial flights over the river are being undertaken to locate additional oil locations and monitor and direct cleanup activity.

Due to the spill, an estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels of oil has leaked into the Yellowstone River, according to a report by Reuters.