Yellowstone River Cleanup and Recovery Update
BILLINGS, Mont.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ExxonMobil Pipeline Company provided the following update as Unified Command cleanup operations continued Friday following a release of oil into the Yellowstone River on July 1.
Under the direction of the Unified Command, more than 500 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. Almost 400 people are along the river banks today to clean up oil.
We have deployed more than 9,000 feet of boom and almost 160,000 absorbent pads to clean up oil adjacent to the river. Deployment will continue to focus on the highest priority areas to reduce environmental impact. Twenty boats are available for deployment on the river when conditions permit.
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.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND CLAIMS UPDATE
Direct contact with those impacted by the spill continues. To date we have received 263 calls from the community. Our team is responding to approximately 85 claims related to property, agriculture and health. More than one hundred calls have been from people offering volunteer assistance. We appreciate the support of the Billings community as we work to restore the area.
Our commitment is to make every effort to respond to the concerns of each individual within 24 hours. Additionally, we are increasing our on-the-ground response team to work directly with people who have been affected.
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 claims and wildlife hotlines.
On Thursday, International Bird Rescue collected a toad on a landowner's property. The toad was cleaned on site and released, bringing the total number of treated wildlife to two. A garter snake was treated and released on Wednesday.
In addition, several lightly oiled birds were observed, none required capture or cleaning. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be performing aerial flights specifically looking for birds in impacted areas.
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.
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).
Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation
Released July 8, 2011