No more oil to spill from Montana pipeline: EPA

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 18, 2011 10:33 AM
No more oil to spill from Montana pipeline: EPA

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The danger of more oil leaking from Exxon Mobil Corp's ruptured pipeline in Montana has been removed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

The Silvertip pipeline burst on July 1, spilling an estimated 42,000 gallons of oil, or 1,000 barrels, into the scenic Yellowstone River.

Exxon has now drained the two segments of pipeline that were on either side of the break. The oily water mixture was removed and taken to the company's refinery in Billings for storage, EPA said.

"With the removal of the residual oil from these segments of the pipeline, the threat of secondary releases has been eliminated," Steve Merritt, EPA's on-scene coordinator, said in an agency update on Sunday.

There are 700 people involved in cleaning up crude that spilled into the Yellowstone River and onto its banks, the agency said.

(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston; editing by John Wallace)