Posted: Mar 25, 2013 8:36 PM by MTN News
BILLINGS - The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a $1.7 million fine against ExxonMobil Pipeline Company as a result of the July 2011 crude oil pipeline failure in the Yellowstone River near Laurel.
The announcement was made late today by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The investigation alleges Exxon failed to properly address seasonal flooding risks, and alleges that the company knew the pipeline could erode due to excessive river scouring.
The investigation also alleges the company could have reduced the size of the 63-thousand gallon spill by closing a valve at the time of the incident.
The pipeline rupture caused over 70 miles of shoreline to be affected killed wildlife and fish and prompted a long cleanup.
Exxon spent over $130 million in cleanup and repair work.