Exxon Mobil has finally admitted that the damage from their broken oil pipe could possibly extend beyond the original 10 mile zone of the Yellowstone river. This statement was made Monday evening after they came under political pressure to let the public know what was really going on with the spill. Exxon had originally downplayed the assertion that the damage could be found over dozens of miles by Montana state and local officials. Governor Brian Schweitzer had sharply criticized Exxon for this and will be touring the damage site on Tues., July 5th.

The company has since dispatched 280 cleanup workers to work along the shores of the Yellowstone river. In addition the EPA has sent 50 workers to help monitor the situation. Over 9 miles of boom have been added to try and keep the oil from contaminating the shoreline. Exxon claims their original statements were misconstrued and that by no means will their cleanup efforts will be limited to the immediate area of the spill. They also stated that they will be there for the duration of the cleanup.

Currently however, high flood waters are hampering the cleanup effort. The river had dropped temporarily over the weekend but is expected to rise again today due to high temperatures in the 90's melting the snow in the mountains. If there is another surge of flood water the oil could be pushed into the back channel waters and threaten the fisheries there. The river contain lot's of sauger, bass catfish, goldeye, trout and further downstream, the native pallid sturgeon. The company has claimed that so far only one dead duck has been found however the local Billings paper ran photos of a oil covered turtle and also of oil soaked pelicans trying to stay afloat on logs in the river.

Local residents are also concerned with the possible immediate and long term health effects from this spill. Exxon has said that recent air and water samples showed no health risks to the public. Crude oil contains benzene, a carcinogen, but benzene levels were specifically being monitored, Exxon said. A local woman was diagnosed Monday with acute hydrocarbon exposure after she experienced dizziness, nausea and trouble breathing.

Exxon had received warnings of violations earlier this year concerning the pipeline but had addressed them and were currently in compliance with federal regulations when the spill happened. Anthony Swift, a policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the fact that Exxon was apparently in compliance with federal rules underscores the fact that those rules need to be strengthened. To be continued as history repeats itself once again.

Here's a video that shows the damage and concern of the spill.

Responses to "Exxon Mobil admits that damage from the oil spill in Montana could be worse than originally stated"

  1. Kimberli Offet says:

    As usual the oil companies lie!!!! How sad the way we treat our Mother! Many of God's creatures will die and their habitats ruined. I do give a hats off the the makers of Dawn dish detergent. They spend millions trying to clean up these messes and save wildlife affected by it!

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