Oil-spill cleanup effort continues to grow
ExxonMobil says that almost 600 people are now involved in efforts to clean up crude oil spilled after a pipeline running under the Yellowstone River ruptured July 1, releasing an estimated 42,000 gallons of oil along the waterway.
Almost 33,000 feet of boom and 160,000 absorbent pads have been used to mop up oil, Exxon said in a news release. Thirty-nine boats are now available to be deployed when conditions permit.
The Environmental Protection Agency, which is coordinating the cleanup effort, said Saturday that 910 barrels of oily water had been recovered — which would yield about 9 barrels of oil.
On Wednesday, the EPA issued an administrative order to Exxon outlining requirements for long- and short-term work plans detailing its recovery ad remediation efforts. When that plan is finalized, it will be made public, said Steve Merritt, the EPA’s on-scene coordinator. He said ongoing air and water quality monitoring has confirmed no danger to public health.
Exxon is working with International Bird Rescue (IBR), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to survey the area for impacts to wildlife. A garter snake and a western toad have been treated for oil exposure and released. In addition, several lightly oiled birds have been observed but not captured. On Saturday, several oiled Canada Geese were reported to IBR.
Individuals with oil-spill information can call Exxon’s community information number, 888-382-0043. The number to report wildlife issues is 800-259-0596.