The second oil spill on the Yellowstone River in four years has poisoned the Glendive, Montana water supply:
The 12-inch-diameter Poplar Pipeline spilled on Saturday morning. By Monday night, Glendive residents cleaned local grocery store shelves of bottled water as news spread that health officials had found benzene levels in the municipal water treatment plant at two to three times what the Center for Disease Control says is safe for long-term exposure.
Some elderly residents reported not having anything to drink to take medication. People who had drunk from their taps complained of stomachaches. Hospital and schools struggled to keep their charges hydrated and safe. Some businesses were forced to cut back services or close. People fled town to do laundry or take showers.
Not until Tuesday morning did the first pallets of clean, bottled water from Bridger Pipeline, owner of the Poplar Pipeline, arrive in Glendive. They were dispensed first to hospital, schools, nursing homes and the prison. Then they to went to other residents.
Bill Salvin, a spokesman hired by Bridger Pipeline who also fielded calls on Tuesday for the county government’s emergency services command center, said the delay was due to “a matter of logistics.”
I have family in Glendive, so I’ve visited there many times. The Yellowstone is the centerpiece of that town. It has no dams and is (was?) considered a “blue ribbon” trout stream. I wonder how many jobs will be lost when fisherman don’t come back this year.