“It is a significant spill,” Pipeline in North Dakota shut down after spilling crude oil in river tributary

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BELFIELD, N.D. – A pipeline in North Dakota has been shut down following an oil spill into a nearby river earlier this week.

According to the Oil Patch Dispatch, the spill was discovered Monday near Belfield, North Dakota. Officials say the oil contaminated a tributary of the Little Missouri River.

State leaders learned of the spill after a landowner noticed oil leaking from a 6-inch pipeline into a nearby creek.

“It is a significant spill,” Bill Suess, the spill investigation program manager for the North Dakota Department of Health, is quoted as saying.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, officials are not sure exactly how much crude oil was spilled. However, they say a series of booms have been set up to prevent the oil from spreading downstream.

The pipeline is owned by Belle Fourche Pipeline Company, which is part of True Companies of Wyoming.

In an ironic turn of events, the spill is about 200 miles away from where protesters have set up camp to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. Tribal leaders and environmental activists said they were concerned about the nearby water supply being contaminated.

In fact, the protesters often cite a 30,000 gallon oil spill in the Yellowstone River that affected the water supply for a town in Montana as an example of why they fear for their water. That pipeline was also owned by True Companies of Wyoming.

Earlier this week, protesters learned that the Army Corp of Engineers would look for an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline.