When North Dakota needed a new pipeline, they turned to the company that tainted Glendive’s water supply

Sometimes the news just makes you shake your head.

You probably remember Bridger Pipeline, LLC. They’re the company that operates the Poplar Pipeline. That’s the one that ruptured last January, sending 40,000 gallons of Bakken crude into the Yellowstone River, tainting Glendive’s water supply. We reported at the time that the company also operated the Parshall Gathering System, which gathers oil from over 250 wells in North Dakota’s Mountrail County for delivery elsewhere. That system leaked over 5,000 gallons of crude just north of Stanley.

Crews work to clean up spill near Glendive. Photo: Larry Mayer, Billings Gazette

Crews work to clean up spill near Glendive. Photo: Larry Mayer, Billings Gazette

So when the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) needed a company to build a new pipeline, a “key piece of infrastructure” that will stretch 15 miles across Billings and Stark Counties, one that will transport 125,000 barrels per day and connect to an existing pipeline leading to Baker, Montana, who do you think they chose?

You know the answer. Bridger Pipeline LLC.


Julie Fedorchak

According to PSC Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak, “We had a really thorough discussion about how they plan to operate this and monitor it and the latest and greatest technology they’ll be using, the newest pipe materials and monitoring systems, and I felt comfortable that the company … walked away with some good lessons learned on that (Poplar Pipeline) spill and will be incorporating that in this line.”

Fedorchak said the PSC examined a 10-year leak history from the company, and a control center in Casper that will monitor the new pipeline around the clock.

She said that while the Yellowstone River spill was “a really unfortunate incident,” that pipeline was 60 years old and was trenched under the river. The new $10.4 million pipeline will be bored 30 feet under the intermittent Heart River using horizontal directional drilling.

That explains everything.

Folks, the time has come for local regulation of oil and gas drilling. Local communities need to look out for themselves, because it’s clear that state agencies aren’t looking out for them.





About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.
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2 Responses to When North Dakota needed a new pipeline, they turned to the company that tainted Glendive’s water supply

  1. Lt. Colonel (Retired, US Army) Richard Liebert says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYusNNldesc check on HBO’s John Oliver somber but Hilarious piece on ‘Nord Dakota’……..and the woodchipper

    • davidjkatz says:

      Yes. I’m going to post that in another day or two. Oliver’s format gives him the chance to express the outrage that many of us feel without feeling the constraints of “on the hand, and on the other.”

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