State officials are gathering data on what they are calling the "invisible spider web" of pipelines crossing beneath Montana waterways.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer's Oil Pipeline Safety Council held its first meeting Wednesday in the wake of the July 1 Exxon Mobil pipeline break that dumped tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River.

Schweitzer wants to map the dozens of pipeline crossings and identify gaps in regulatory authority to try to stave off future spills.

Richard Opper is the head of the state Department of Environmental Quality and the chairman of the council. He says much of the information is already available to the public, but the group will consolidate it over the coming months to provide an overall picture of pipeline safety in Montana.

Associated Press