On Monday, December 5, 2016, a response team from Belle Fourche Pipeline Company reported evidence of a crude oil discharge from the company’s pipeline to the Ash Coulee Creek in western North Dakota. Response crews first reported oil 2.5 miles downstream (4.5 river miles) from the pipe break, which is approximately 9 miles (18 river miles) upstream of the Little Missouri River in Billings County.
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EPA deployed an on-scene coordinator to the spill location on December 6 and, the OSC continues to coordinate environmental assessment and response activities with local officials, the North Dakota Department of Health, and Belle Fourche Pipeline Company. Officials have been in contact with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service to discuss impacts. Response teams are currently focused on identifying and recovering oil at the spill site and using oil skimming stations along with several downstream boom sets to ensure continued oil containment. Additionally, the pipe has been capped at the break location. Officials have confirmed there is no known impact to the drinking water.