Oil companies paid just $320K for years of pollution at Fort Peck

A view of the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. Photo from Make It Right

Oil companies were polluting the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana for decades before the Environmental Protection Agency stepped in.

The EPA issued an emergency order against Murphy Exploration & Production Co., Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc., and SGH Enterprises, Inc. for polluting the water supply on the reservation. Over 40 million gallons of energy production waste seeped into the system, according to the Associated Press.

"It was undrinkable,” Donna Whitmer, a resident of Poplar, told the AP. “If you shook it up, it’d look all orange.”

After court-ordered mediation, the three companies agreed to pay $320,000 in 2012 to the Fort Peck Tribes Water Resources, the tribally-operated system that serves Poplar. A press release from the time said the EPA was aware of groundwater contamination for "several decades."

Get the Story:
Drilling boom brings rising number of harmful waste spills (AP 9/8)

Related Stories
Native Sun News: Water pollution a threat to Fort Peck Tribes (4/6)
EPA reaches deal for oil companies on Fort Peck Reservation (3/27)

Join the Conversation