On Thursday Summit Midstream Partners LP announced that the company is unsure when its damaged saltwater line in North Dakota will return to operating as usual, according to a report from Reuters.
On January 6 the pipeline rupture was detected north of Williston. State officials estimate that nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater generated by oil and gas drilling was released. The brine water, which often contains toxic metals and radioactive waste, entered the Blacktail Creek and Little Muddy creek. The spill is the largest of its kind since the oil boom began in 2006. It isn’t clear what the daily capacity of the line was before the incident occurred.
Summit Midstream is working in cooperation with state officials on the remediation and cleanup of the spill. The company doesn’t know exactly when the spill began and is unsure what caused the line to rupture. Summit spokesman Jonathan Morgan said the cause of the accident needs to be determined before the saltwater line will resume normal operations. Chief of the North Dakota Department of Health David Glatt said the company has located the damaged portion of pipeline and it has been sent to a lab for analysis to determine what caused the breach.