Pipeline Companies to Pay $12.5 Million in Penalties After Spills in Montana, North Dakota

(Reuters) — Belle Fourche Pipeline Company and Bridger Pipeline LLC that own and operate a network of crude oil pipelines in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming have together agreed to pay a $12.5 million civil penalty relating to oil spills, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Monday.

The penalty is to resolve claims under the Clean Water Act and Pipeline Safety Laws relating to oil spills in Montana and North Dakota.

In addition to the civil penalty, the companies are also required to implement specified compliance measures, including meeting certain control room operation requirements and related employee training, implementing their water crossings and geotechnical evaluation programs, the EPA said.

Belle Fourche will also pay the state of North Dakota’s past response costs, it added.

In 2015, oil spilled into the Yellow Stone River near Glendive, Montana after Bridger Pipeline's Poplar pipeline system ruptured. In 2016, Belle Fourche's pipeline leaked in North Dakota, spilling 4,200 barrels.

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