Following an oil spill from ExxonMobil Pipeline Co.,
water in Montanas Yellowstone River is safe and shows no
elevated levels for volatile organic compounds, according to
the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Further data was made available
following testing and monitoring conducted last week by the
Meanwhile, as the second week of
oil spill cleanup begins, staff members with the EPA say they
are optimistic about receding water levels in the river, which
will allow access to previously inaccessible portions.
We are continuing to do air
sampling and are ramping up water sampling in domestic
wells, said Steve Merritt, EPA on-scene coordinator.
We want to screen every
drinking water well within the heaviest affected area between
Laurel and Billings as quickly as possible and move down river
There are hundreds of wells in the
area, and EPAs testing priority is domestic drinking
water wells to protect human health, it said.
As such, EPA will initially screen
wells that provide drinking water at homes and businesses in
the impacted area.
As part of the requirements of an
order issued by EPA to ExxonMobil on July 6, ExxonMobil has
delivered a draft work plan to EPA.
The work plan contains seven key
elements, and EPA has determined that 3 of those elements are
incomplete and need technical clarification and scope of work
EPA has presented details on
deficiencies to ExxonMobil and expects a response within one
week, it said.
The EPA said it is also working to
complete a Pollution Removal Funding Authorization (PRFA) for
Montana Fish Wildlife and Game (MFWG).
This will allow MFWG to
participate in the shoreline assessments and final shoreline