Oil Pipeline Ruptures Under Montana's Yellowstone River

"I saw birds trying to take off that couldn't because of oil on their wings, I saw a spiny soft shell turtle dive into a glob of oil."

We're just learning about an Exxon Mobil oil spill in Montana's Yellowstone County. Officials are now scrambling to protect the communities and wildlife that depend on the Yellowstone River:

Hundreds of barrels of crude oil spilled into Montana's Yellowstone River after an ExxonMobil pipeline beneath the riverbed ruptured, sending a plume 25 miles downstream and forcing temporary evacuations, officials said.

The break near Billings in south-central Montana fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts Saturday to close intakes.

The river has no dams on its way to its confluence with the Missouri River just across the Montana border in North Dakota. It was unclear how far the plume might travel.

Exxon Mobil is currently estimating the gusher at about 42,000 gallons of oil (1,000 barrels). The oil is moving downstream at 5 to 7 miles an hour.

Continue reading at blog.nwf.org.

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