According to the Associated Press, at least 300 oil spills and 750 “oil field incidents” have occurred in North Dakota since January of last year and none of them were reported to the public.
The only reason we know about them now is because the Associated Press obtained the records.
According to records obtained by The Associated Press, the pipeline spills — many of them small — are among some 750 “oil field incidents” that have occurred since January 2012 without public notification. [...]
Records obtained by the AP show that so far this year, North Dakota has recorded 139 pipeline leaks that spilled a total of 735 barrels of oil. In 2012, there were 153 pipeline leaks that spilled 495 barrels of oil, data show. A little more than half of the spills companies reported to North Dakota occurred “on-site,” where a well is connected to a pipeline, and most were fewer than 10 barrels. The remainder of the spills occurred along the state’s labyrinth of pipelines.
North Dakota also had 291 “incidents” this year that leaked a total of about 2,209 barrels of oil. Data show that all but 490 barrels were contained and cleaned up at the well site. In 2012, there were 168 spills reported that leaked 1,089 barrels of oil; all but 376 barrels were contained on site, data show. Only one incident — a crash involving an oil truck last year — was reported publicly.
The state is not required by law to report these incidents to the public, and if you think that sounds like a very industry-friendly policy, you’d be right.
Incidents like these may reshape the public debate if the public was aware of them.
According to the Associated Press report, even local farmers who live and raise crops on the edge of pipelines and wells are often kept in the dark about spills and “incidents.”
I wonder who they voted for.