ExxonMobil faces $1.7 million fine for Yellowstone River oil spill

March 27, 2013

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a $1.7 million fine for ExxonMobil as a result of the July 2011 crude oil pipeline failure in the Yellowstone River.

The Yellowstone River

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is proposing a $1.7 million fine for ExxonMobil as a result of the July 2011 crude oil pipeline failure in the Yellowstone River near Laurel, Mont.

PHMSA alleges that the Irving, Texas-based energy company failed to properly address known seasonal flooding risks to the safety of its pipeline system, including excessive river scour and erosion, and to implement measures that would have mitigated a spill into a waterway.

The agency also says that ExxonMobil failed to establish written procedures for its staff to take prompt and effective action to protect the Silvertip pipeline from floods and other natural disasters, and to minimize the volume of oil released from any section along the pipeline’s system.

RELATED: Failed Montana pipeline was deeply buried

“It is our priority to ensure that America’s transportation system is the safest in the world,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “This system includes the nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipelines and it is our responsibility to see that those who operate them are held accountable for adhering to federal safety standards.”

The Silvertip Pipeline is a 12-inch pipeline approximately 69 miles in length and transports crude oil from the Silvertip station in Elk Basin, Wyo., to an ExxonMobil Refinery in Billings, Mont. The pipeline's failure  on July 1, 2011 resulted in the release of 1509 barrels of crude oil during excessive flooding and adverse weather conditions.

Sponsored Recommendations

Choosing The Right Partner for CHIPS Act Investments

As the U.S. looks to invest in the semiconductor research and production using CHIPS Act 2022 funding, it's important to choose the right partner.

EMWD Uses Technology to Meet Sustainability Goals

Eastern Municipal Water District pilots artificial intelligence-enabled control and machine learning to help save energy, reduce costs, and improve quality.

Protein Processing Solutions: Automation & Control

For protein processors looking to address industry challenges, improve efficiency, and stay ahead in a competitive market, Rockwell Automation offers tailored automation, control...

Automotive Manufacturing Innovation: Smart Solutions for a Connected Future

Rockwell Automation provides automation and control systems tailored for the automotive and tire industries, supporting electric vehicle production, tire production, battery production...