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Yellowstone River Update: 60% of inspected shoreline covered in oil

28 Jul 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: Clean Water, General Environment, Public Lands, Toxics, Wildlife

Oil from the recent Exxon Mobil spill into the Yellowstone River near Laurel, Montana has been identified on 60% of inspected shoreline and detected as far south as Custer, Montana—72 miles away from the spill site—Montana Department of Environmental Quality director Richard Opper said Tuesday.

While much of that tally included shoreline that was lightly to very lightly covered in oil, the recent report made clear that the spill is worse than previous estimates provided by Exxon Mobil. Environmental regulators calculate that 1,200 barrels of oil (roughly 50,400 gallons) spilled into the river, an amount 20% higher than initial reports from the oil company.

Last week, the EPA informed Exxon that more workers were needed at the site, which already has a cleanup crew of 750 workers in place.  The agency has set a September 9th deadline for the clean-up effort’s conclusion.

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