BILLINGS, Mont.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExxonMobil Pipeline Company provided the following update as cleanup operations continued Sunday evening following a release of oil into the Yellowstone River.
- More than 120 people were involved in the response and cleanup effort including ExxonMobil’s North America Regional Response Team, the Clean Harbors oil spill response organization, and additional contractors. An additional 80 people were expected on site Monday.
- For the purposes of the response, the area downriver of the spill has been organized into four zones. Cleanup activities are focused in the first two zones, Laurel to Duck Creek Bridge, a distance of seven miles from the spill location, and Duck Creek Bridge to Johnson Lane (12 miles). Reconnaissance and evaluation activities are under way in the second two zones, Johnson Lane to Miles City (144 miles) and Miles City to Glendive (78 miles).
- Cleanup crews are using absorbent pads to soak up oil, boom to isolate oil that has pooled adjacent to the river and vacuum trucks and tankers to pick up and dispose of the oil.
- Air quality monitoring is ongoing and has confirmed no danger to public health. Municipal water systems are being notified to monitor water quality but no reports of impacts have been received to date.
- Daily aerial flights over the river are being undertaken to locate additional oil locations and monitor and direct cleanup activity.
- More than 70 calls to the community claims line have been received. A claims hotline number (1-888-382-0043) was established to assist individuals who might have been impacted by this event.
- Workers from the International Bird Rescue are expected to arrive on Monday. The Montana Audubon Conservation Education Center and Yellowstone Valley Audubon have offered to provide wildlife recovery services and facilities. One report of impacted wildlife has been received.
- Contacts with senior government officials were made throughout the day. ExxonMobil is coordinating the response with the Environmental Protection Agency; the Montana Department of Environmental Quality; U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Yellowstone County Disaster and Emergency Services; and Yellowstone County commissioners.
- An investigation team has been established to determine the cause of the release.