Glendive, Montana, Oil Spill
Many of you may have heard that 40,000 gallons of oil were spilled from a pipeline about 6 miles up the Yellowstone River from the town of Glendive, Mont., way on the eastern edge of our state. Having nothing better to do, I took an 800-mile drive to and from Glendive yesterday to see what I could.
Perhaps 60 miles downstream of the spill, near Crane, Mont., workers setting up some kind of spill containment on the Yellowstone, having to cut through the ice to get at the water. Closer to Glendive, at the Intake dam, game wardens from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks told me they could smell oil coming from the river for the first time after the spill, but had not noticed any visible evidence of contamination.
In town, any of the 6,000 Glendive residents who cared to could receive two gallons of bottled water, per person, per day to use until the city water supply — coming directly out of the river and just a few miles downstream from the spill — was declared safe. The Associated Press reports that water was being tested Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, and hopes were high that it would be once again safe to drink from the taps of Glendive.
Annette Tauscher said she got her two gallons Wednesday as a precaution, since she hadn’t noticed any smell or funny taste from the tap water she and her cat share. “If no one else is drinking the water, then I’d better not,” she said. Other residents in Glendive were on wells and said they were unaffected by the spill.
Still, Bridger Pipeline’s Glendive station, shown here on the western edge of town along the Yellowstone, has a lot of questions to answer. And the Yellowstone, mostly frozen for now as it flows through Glendive, may yet have damage to assess when the thaw comes.
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