FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2015
Dave Parker, Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9844
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Governor Steve Bullock Visits Site of Oil Spill, Announces Initial Steps to Ensure Health and Safety of Montanans Impacted
Helena/Glendive, Mont. – Governor Steve Bullock today traveled to Glendive to ensure all appropriate steps were being taken to respond to the oil spill into the Yellowstone River that occurred over the weekend. Bullock signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the area yesterday.
In Glendive, Bullock announced a series of initial steps to ensure the health and safety of Montanans, as well as evaluating impacts on Montana wildlife. He has relocated a member of his personal staff to work out of Glendive to ensure the concerns of residents are being addressed. In response to CDC’s suggestion that residents drink bottled water, he has instructed the Montana Department of Disaster and Emergency Services to bring in bottled water for residents, the first shipment of which will arrive on Tuesday; in addition he is dispatching a public water supply specialist from the Department of Environmental Quality to work with local officials to quickly identify and address impacts on the community’s water supply. He has also tasked the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks to monitor any adverse impacts on wildlife in the area.
“The health and safety of Montanans in the area impacted by this oil spill is my top concern,” Bullock said of the steps he announced today. “Local, state, and federal officials are working together to quickly assess this situation, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable, the oil is cleaned up and all damages are addressed. My expectation is that the cleanup will continue until it meets the standard of me and the people of Montana.”
At the direction of Bullock, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Department of Military Affairs have taken an active role in the oversight of this hazardous materials response in coordination with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Bullock has committed all available resources and taken all possible actions to respond, mitigate and alleviate the situation.
On Saturday, January 17, a change of pipeline pressure was detected in the Bridger Pipeline in the area near Glendive and the Yellowstone River. This change indicated a breach of the pipeline. The line was shut down as a response to this pressure change.