More than 4M gallons of freshwater, brine, oil pumped from site of ND saltwater spill

EnergyAssociated Press

The Environmental Protection Agency says more than 4 million gallons of a mixture of freshwater, brine and oil have been pumped from the area affected by the largest saltwater spill of North Dakota's current energy boom.

The federal agency made public on Monday an assessment on the nearly 3 million-gallon spill of saltwater generated by oil drilling that leaked from a ruptured pipeline. Operator Summit Midstream Partners LLC detected the spill Jan. 6, but it's still unclear exactly when it occurred and what caused it.

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Saltwater, also known as brine, is an oil-production byproduct that's considered an environmental hazard.

The EPA also says dams are being constructed in case water levels rise as ice melts, and to contain the drainage of saltwater.