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EPA Update on Yellowstone River Oil Spill (Silvertip Pipeline), July 15, 2011

Release Date: 07/15/2011
Contact Information: Lisa McClain Vanderpool, (303) 501-4027; Libby Faulk, (406) 351-9014

EPA Update on Yellowstone River Oil Spill (Silvertip Pipeline), July 15, 2011
Lisa McClain Vanderpool, (303) 501-4027; Libby Faulk, (406) 351-9014

(Billings, Mont --, July 15, 2011) The U.S. EPA continues to oversee the response to the ExxonMobil spill on the Yellowstone River. This weekend, EPA will provide direction and oversight as Exxon removes any residual oil from two segments of pipeline on either side of the break location. EPA and the state have reviewed and approved procedures to ensure that there are no further releases of oil into the environment as a result of these activities.

PLEASE NOTE: On Saturday July 16th our daily media briefing will occur via conference call, and not in person, and we will not issue any press releases over the weekend. There is no call on Sunday, July 17th. However, we will continue to post the latest information including monitoring data and progress on clean-up and restoration on our website, During the week of July 18th we will hold daily media briefings via conference call at 11 a.m. and will continue to answer additional media questions via email or phone as they occur. For conference call dial-in information, please contact the people listed above.

There are 750 personnel on site with 540 currently in the field engaged in cleanup or sampling activities. Cleanup crews have used over 50,000 feet of absorbent booms and 260,000 absorbent pads, among other materials. There are 56 boats on scene as well.

At approximately 11:00 PM on Friday, July 1 a break occurred in a 12-inch pipeline owned by ExxonMobil that resulted in a spill of crude oil into the Yellowstone River approximately 20 miles upstream of Billings, Montana. The current estimate of the amount of oil released remains at 1,000 barrels based on information provided by ExxonMobil. EPA's primary concern is protecting people's health and the environment. EPA will remain on-site to ensure cleanup and restoration efforts do just that. EPA continues to hold ExxonMobil, the responsible party, accountable for assessment and cleanup.

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The Montana DEQ encourages people to call the Governor’s information line at 406-657-0231 with questions, concerns or comments, or visit