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745 oil spills reported in North Dakota in just one year

May 8, 2017

North Dakota, a state that was the forefront of national protests for months over environmental concerns stemming from the construction of a major pipeline, reported 745 oil spills since last May, according to the state’s Department of Health.

The oil and gas industry reported the spills, and the damages varied in each case. While some spills were in the 20-gallon range there were others that were much larger. KCET calculated that, on average, a spill occurred every 11 hours and 45 minutes. One spill coming from a pipeline in early December, went undetected until it was discovered by a local landowner. Originally estimates suggested around 176,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the Ash Coulee creek, only hours away from Standing Rock, the central location for the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. However recent reports show that the spill was severely underestimated and that the total amount of oil spilled was actually three times greater — 529,830 gallons — making one of the largest oil spills in North Dakota history.

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