Scope of Yellowstone River Oil Spill Expected to Grow


The National Weather Service predicts mountain snowmelt will swell the Yellowstone River in Montana, complicating cleanup efforts to limit damage following an ExxonMobil oil spill.

A 12-inch pipeline burst below the Yellowstone, shooting approximately 42,000 gallons of crude into the river just outside of Billings. Exxon operates three refineries in the area. On Monday, Exxon acknowledged that the scope of the leak could extend far beyond a 10-mile stretch of the river.

Alexis Bonogofsky of the National Wildlife Federation lives along the Yellowstone River and blogged about the incident on the NWF website.

"I saw birds trying to take off that couldn't because of oil on their wings," she wrote. "I saw a spiny soft shell turtle dive into a glob of oil."

Oil in Montanas Yellowstone River
  • NWF's Alexis Bonogofsky

  • Oil in Montana's Yellowstone River.