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Wyoming company to pay $2M in Yellowstone oil pipeline spill

November 17, 2021 GMT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Wyoming pipeline company agreed to a $2 million settlement for damages caused by a 2015 crude oil spill that fouled a section of the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana and contaminated a city’s water supply, officials said Wednesday.

The agreement with Bridger Pipeline LLC includes a restoration plan that could include projects to restore aquatic habitat and improve recreational sites along the Yellowstone River corridor, Montana U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.

Most of the money — more than $1.7 million will go into a state-managed damage fund. The remainder will go to the federal government as reimbursement for its assessment of damages from the 31,000-gallon spill.

Bridger Pipeline is owned by True Companies of Casper, Wyoming.

The company was previously fined $1 million over the spill by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

The spill happened after the pipeline split at a weld where it crosses beneath the Yellowstone upstream of Glendive near the North Dakota border.

The river was covered with ice at the time and cleanup crews recovered less than 10 percent of the oil.