Health Department Approves Cleanup Plan For Tesoro Spill - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Health Department Approves Cleanup Plan For Tesoro Spill

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Plans to cleanup 20,000 barrels of oil that leaked from a Tesoro pipeline last fall has been approved by the state health department.

The pipeline leak near Tioga was the largest spill of oil in North Dakota's history, and while it's going to take some time to clean up the soil, the department of health is confident the land can be returned to its pre-pipeline leak conditions.

Cleanup would start by excavating the oil soaked dirt, which goes down roughly 30 feet. Then on the site, a machine would heat the soil at high temperatures to burn out the oil, but this process also destroys the various types of bacteria and microbes. The company has hired experts to remix the soil.

"We do think that the company is working with soil scientists from North Dakota State University they know the local soils, they know what needs to be done to bring it back to it's original productivity, and we are hopeful that after a couple years of the treatment system, that we will be able to get back out there and start farming again," says Dave Glatt of the North Dakota Department of Health.

The plan includes installing a segment of natural gas pipeline to the site to power the heavy equipment. Tesoro estimated that the cleanup would take at least two years and at least $11 million.

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