Petroleum detected in fish tested after Yellowstone River pipeline spill

Detectable levels of petroleum were found in tests of fish pulled from the Yellowstone River downstream from a broken petroleum pipeline near Glendive. Mont., and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks advised fishermen to use caution when deciding whether to eat fish from the oil spill area.

Detectable levels of petroleum were found in tests of fish pulled from the Yellowstone River downstream from a broken petroleum pipeline near Glendive. Mont., and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks advised fishermen to use caution when deciding whether to eat fish from the oil spill area.

On Jan. 17 the Bridger Pipeline LLC’s Poplar Pipeline ruptured where it crosses the Yellowstone River upstream from Glendive, dumping Bakken crude oil into the river.

FWP advised anglers not to eat any fish caught downstream from the spill until biologists could test for petroleum in the edible muscle tissues, a news release said. Sampling for contaminated fish–as well as cleanup of the spilled oil–has been difficult because ice covers most of the river.

Biologists caught various types of fish and sent samples to laboratories in Montana and Wisconsin, which tested the edible muscle tissue as well as various internal organs for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). An FWP biologist said test results showed detectable PAH levels in some samples.

Citing an estimated leak of 1,200 bbl of crude oil from a ruptured pipeline in eastern Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) asked US Sec. of Transportation Anthony Foxx to send more pipeline inspectors to the state and schedule more inspections there (OGJ Online, Feb. 17, 2015).

About 548 bbl has been recovered so far from the Poplar line’s release, but cold weather is limiting the ability of crews to recover additional oil, a Bridger Pipeline spokesman said.

More in Government