Published December 12, 2016
BELFIELD, NORTH DAKOTA – The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has confirmed that an estimated 176,400 gallons — or 4,200 barrels — of oil has spilled from the Belle Fourche pipeline, 16 miles northwest of Belfield, North Dakota.
The oil spill was first discovered last Monday, December 5, 2016. The spill came from a six-inch pipeline built in the 1980s, which transports 1,000 barrels of oil per day. The oil spill contaminated the Ash Coulee Creek, but did not reach the Little Missouri River, according to Bill Suess, a spill investigation manager for NDDoH.
As of Sunday, cleanup crews had recovered 36,876 gallons — or 878 barrels.
The cause of the pipeline spill is under investigation.
The oil spill happened some 170 miles northwest of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, the site of the gathering of American Indian and allies resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline. The spill personifies exactly the reason they have fought for many months to stop the Dakota Access pipeline.