A Wyoming oil company has agreed to pay a $2 million settlement for damage to the Yellowstone River following an oil spill upstream from Glendive, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Bridger Pipeline LLC agreed to settle a civil complaint filed by the United States and Montana to help pay for the harm inflicted on the longest, free-flowing river in the Lower 48 states by the release of 31,000 gallons of crude oil from a pipeline that ruptured in 2015.
“This settlement holds Bridger Pipeline accountable for its oil spill and provides funds to restore damage caused to the Yellowstone River’s waters, fisheries, birds and riparian habitat, ecosystems and related human activities,” U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said in a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
In January 2015, the pipeline running beneath the Yellowstone River about 6.5 miles upstream from Glendive cracked at a weld. The pipeline, 12 inches in diameter and buried about eight feet under the river, carried oil from the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota, The Gazette previously reported.
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Soon after, residents in Glendive found their water to be undrinkable,