Warmer weather, melting down slow cleanup of massive saltwater spill in North Dakota

IndustriesAssociated Press

A North Dakota official says unseasonably warm temperatures in the state's west are slowing the cleanup of a nearly 3 million-gallon saltwater spill.

State environmental health chief Dave Glatt says melting ice and snow have overwhelmed dams in Blacktail Creek, but that the water in the creek has hardly been contaminated by the spill.

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Blacktail Creek is about 15 miles north of Williston.

Glatt says it doesn't make sense to try to collect the small amount of contaminated water that is overflowing the dams along with the fresh water. He says he doesn't think it will have a bigger impact downstream.

The saltwater is an unwanted oil-production byproduct that is considered an environmental hazard.

Crews will be working in others areas until they can resume collecting the contaminated water.