Montana governor creates oil pipeline safety panel

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2011 6:58 PM
Montana governor creates oil pipeline safety panel

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Montana's governor created a panel on Wednesday to review the risks of oil pipelines running under the state's rivers, a move prompted by the spill of thousands of gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River.

Governor Brian Schweitzer said in an executive order that his Oil Pipeline Safety Review Council will advise him on the status of all pipelines running underneath Montana's rivers and streambeds.

Schweitzer told the panel to assess the risk of ruptures and leaks in the pipelines, taking into account such factors as age, thickness and corrosion.

"The council will make recommendations to prevent any future failures that damage Montana's pristine rivers and streams," Schweitzer said in the order.

Schweitzer's order cites the July 1 rupture of an Exxon pipeline below the Yellowstone River, spilling what the company has estimated at up to 42,000 gallons into the river.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)