Yellowstone River Cleanup and Recovery Update
BILLINGS, Mont.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ExxonMobil Pipeline Company provided the following update as Unified Command cleanup operations continued Wednesday following a release of oil into the Yellowstone River on July 1.
Workers continue cleanup along the river using poles and absorbent pads. (Photo: Business Wire)
Under the direction of the Unified Command, almost 700 people are now involved in the response and cleanup effort including ExxonMobil's North America Regional Response Team, the Clean Harbors and ER oil spill response organizations and additional contractors.
We have deployed more than 43,000 feet of boom and approximately 260,000 absorbent pads to clean up oil adjacent to the river. Deployment continues to focus on the highest priority areas to reduce environmental impact. Forty-six boats are available for deployment on the river when conditions permit, and air boats are being used to help ferry workers to and from the shore to various cleanup sites where conventional motorboats cannot be used.
The EPA is leading the Unified Command Center cleanup activities and conducting ongoing air and water quality monitoring. Ongoing air quality monitoring has confirmed there is no danger to public health. Municipal water systems continue to be monitored by the EPA; no reports of impacts have been received to date. For additional information, please visit www.epa.gov/yellowstoneriverspill.
We are working to ensure we meet the requirements of U.S. Department of Transportation's Corrective Action Order before we resume pipeline operations in Billings.
In order to lessen the impact of the pipeline shutdown on the local economy, we have also begun preliminary work for the replacement of the pipeline. This work includes discussions on permitting requirements, rights of ways, drilling equipment, contracting and pipeline fabrication and transportation.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND CLAIMS UPDATE
ExxonMobil employees are visiting residents in the most impacted areas of the spill to ensure residents' needs are being met. To date, we have visited more than 150 residents. Our goal is to answer any questions residents may have about the claims process or spill and cleanup activities. We will continue reaching out to residents throughout the week.
To date we have received more than 300 calls from the community. Our team is responding to more than 120 claims related to property, agriculture or health, and these claims are being resolved as quickly as possible. More than 130 calls have been from people offering volunteer assistance. We appreciate the support of the Billings community as we work to restore the area.
To address individual health concerns, teams of trained environmental specialists are conducting air and water quality testing. Those who may have been affected are encouraged to use the community information line (1-888-382-0043).
WILDLIFE ASSESSMENT AND RECOVERY
We continue to work with International Bird Rescue, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to survey the area for impacts to wildlife. Members of the team are surveying the affected areas of the river for oiled wildlife. We are also inspecting the property of landowners who have called the community or wildlife hotlines regarding impacted wildlife on their property.
The total number of treated wildlife is four: a garter snake and a western toad (which were treated and released), a Woodhouse's toad (which will be released today) and a warbler (which is being cleaned). In addition, several oiled birds were observed and we are assessing if any require capture or cleaning. Today, two boats are scheduled to go out onto the slack, or shallow, water to continue to search for any additional wildlife that may have been affected by the incident. Aerial helicopter surveys are conducted daily to observe wildlife conditions.
Community information line: Individuals in the community who might have been impacted by this event are encouraged to contact the community information number (1-888-382-0043).
Wildlife hotline: Anyone who comes across wildlife that has been impacted by the spill is asked to use the wildlife hotline number (1-800-259-0596).
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6791699&lang=en.
Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation
Released July 13, 2011