Environment

North Dakota tribe accused of concealing data on pipeline spill






Red marker on aerial map shows Bear Den Bay, which leads into Lake Sakakawea. Image from Google Maps

The environmental director for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota is accusing his tribe of concealing information about a pipeline spill on the reservation.

A pipeline with saltwater, a byproduct of oil and gas development, ruptured and spilled about 1 million gallons in early July. But Edmund Baker said tribal officials refuse to disclose whether any of the brine made it into Lake Sakakawea, a source of drinking water for the tribe.

"We're in the absolute dark as to what the severity was when it happened, both soil and water," Baker said at an environmental forum this week, the Associated Press reported. . "They say that it didn't reach the lake. They say, no, it's not in the groundwater. Show me the studies."

"It did reach the lake," Baker also said, the AP reported. "The amount is arguable, that's the point I can't prove."

The AP has been trying to obtain the results of soil and water tests from the tribe, the state and Crestwood Midstream Services Inc., the company that owns the pipeline. But no information has been released.

Get the Story:
Tribe official: Tests not shared on brine spill (AP 8/20)

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Native Sun News: North Dakota tribe contains spill at pipeline (07/18)
Cleanup continues at site of spill on North Dakota reservation (07/14)
Pipeline on reservation in North Dakota spills 1M gallons of fluid (7/10