exxon claims spill damage limited, gov. doubtful - super water absorbent material
-Authorities struggled Sunday to assess the environmental and crop damage caused by tens of thousands of gallons of oil leaking into the legendary Yellowstone River, and Governor Montana criticized Exxon Mobile for downplaying the possible scope of the disaster.
A company pipeline near Laurel interrupted the banks of the river for several miles, forcing municipalities and irrigation districts to close the entrance to eastern Montana.
Exxon oil has brought more cleanup workers to clean up crude oil at three sites along the flooded river that are coated with thick balls of crude oil.
However, there is no clear indication of how far this destruction has spread on a scenic river known for fishing, which is critical to farmers who rely on the river to grow their crops.
Uncertainty has frustrated Riverside owners such as Linda Corbyn, who fear that serious losses will be disclosed as Yellowstone floods subside in the coming weeks.
In Corbyn's backyard, the spilled crude oil is clearly stinking --
This reminds us of potential problems under the surface of a nearby river.
"The smell is enough to block a maggot," said Corbin, 64 . ".
"I just hope it won't be too far because I'm in the well and I don't like to take a shower at Exxon oil.
A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, Sonya Pennock, said the agency's staff found oil at least 40 miles downstream.
There are other reports of oil near the town of Hysham 100 miles away.
Exxon oil pipeline
President Gary placy said the flyover showed that most of the damage was limited to 10-
A mile-long river.
One of the company's main clean-up locations is about 20 miles downstream of the rest time. Gov.
Brian Schweitzer thinks it's too early to admit that.
The Democratic governor said Exxon needed more people to check the situation closely. up.
He also expressed strong displeasure at the reporter's statement that no injured wildlife was found.
"At this early stage, it was said that there was no damage to wildlife, which was very stupid," Schweitzer said . ".
"The Yellowstone River is very important to us.
We need a boat to check the river. and soon.
"Locial media has uploaded photos of the apparently oily pelicans and turtles.
Pennock said she was unable to confirm any damage to the death of wildlife or fish, but investigators were checking and she expected to know more on Monday.
About 120 Exxon oil workers arrived at the scene on Sunday.
The company estimates that up to 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, were leaked on Saturday before the flow of the damaged pipeline stopped.
A representative from the EPA said only a small percentage of the leaked oil could be recovered.
State officials reported earlier that,
A mile-long slick stretches downstream along the intersection of Yellowstone and the Missouri River, just across the Montana border in North Dakota.
There is no further report from the authorities on this oil slick, and Pruessing said that as Yellowstone takes the oil downstream, it appears that it is evaporation and dissipation.
Pruessing also said that this month-
Due to concerns over the rising waters of Yellowstone, Mei's inch pipeline was temporarily closed.
After checking the safety records and determining the low risk, the company decided to restart the production line, he said. The U. S.
The Department of Transport, which oversees the pipeline, issued a warning letter to Exxon Petroleum last year saying that seven safety violations occurred when the silver tip pipeline broke.
Two of the warnings caused the company to fail in emergency response and pipeline corrosion training.
Ministry of Transport spokesman Patricia Klinger said the company had responded to the warning and the case had ended.
The company was also cited as "possible violations" in a letter dated February ".
These problems include insufficient pipeline marking in housing development near Laurel, a pipe covering a broken ditch, vegetation covering part of the line in the housing area, blocking aerial inspections, A line on the canal is not properly protected against corrosion.
The company responded in a parade letter that it had corrected all the problems, most of them resolved within a few weeks of receiving the notice.
The company and government officials speculate that high water levels in recent weeks may have washed the bottom of the river and exposed the pipes to debris that could damage the pipes.
Rainfall in eastern Montana hit a record high last month, as well as heavy snow melting in the mountains, causing flooding.
"We are very curious about what may happen at the bottom of the river.
We don't know yet, "said Pruessing.
The crew placed absorbing materials on a short River near Billings and Laurel, but did not try to catch oil further away.
In some areas, oil flows under prosperity. EPA on-
Steve Wei, field coordinator, said the rapid flow along the flood river is spreading oil in large areas, making it more difficult to capture oil.
But it could also reduce damage to wildlife and farmland along the river, Way said.
Owners say they can't wait for Exxon to clean up, especially in agricultural areas where crops and pastures are at risk.
The Yellowstone River is also popular among fishermen, although more are being trafficked from the spilled upper reaches. Billings-
Local goat ranchers Alexis Bonogofsky said the flood in Yellowstone brought oil into her summer ranch
She is worried that pollution will kill the grass needed to feed the animals.
"My place is covered with oil," she said . ".
"I want a list that says, 'This is something in crude oil. '"The 20-year-
The last time a robot device was used to check the old pipe was in 2009, Pruessing said, the device went through the pipe looking for corrosion, dents or other issues.
He said that the test to determine the depth of the pipeline was conducted in December, when the line appeared to be 5 to 8 feet lower than the river bed.
"This is in full compliance with all regulatory requirements," he said . "
When the pressure reading dropped earlier on Saturday, the workers first became aware of the pipe problem.
Pruessing said that although company officials declined to say how long the process would take, workers began to close the line in six minutes.
The leak is small compared to other oil
Related disasters, such as 11 million gallons of crude oil leaked in Exxon Valdez, Alaska in 1989.
But officials say the pristine nature of Yellowstone and the turbulent waters and riverside communities have complicated their attempts to clean up and assess the damage.