The cause of a saltwater spill in McKenzie County has been attributed to a lightning strike, reports the Forum News Service.
Last Friday Enduro Operating reported the incident. According to a Department of Mineral Resources news release, approximately 440 barrels of saltwater, also known as brine, was released and contained roughly 21 miles south of Alexander, North Dakota. The release occurred at Enduro’s Snowcover 43-19 saltwater disposal well after a tank was struck by lightning. A state inspector has reported to the location and will oversee additional remediation efforts.
Brine water is a byproduct of the oil and gas drilling process. The Environmental Protection Agency states that this water is usually extremely toxic to the environment and contains radioactive material and heavy metals. The water is many times saltier than sea water and the toxic substances can be extremely damaging to the environment and public health if released onto the surface.