MT State Representative Discusses Oil Spill in River Near His Property
Many Montanan politicians are outraged over the oil spill in the Yellowstone river near Glendive, but few have had as personal an experience with the spill as State Senator Matt Rosendale.
"It's my district, so that's a big involvement, but also my ranch fronts on the Yellowstone River for approximately 3.5 miles," Rosendale said. "The first concern that you always have whenever there is a spill like that is the drinking water and Glendive has had some problems. They did pick up elevated levels of Benzine. They do draw their water supply directly from the river."
Rosendale has been busy at the legislative session in Helena since the spill began, and even though he’s a state legislator, he has very little power over the handling of the pipeline.
"The biggest problem that we have is that these pipelines and these crossings...There's approximately 3,000 crossings that take place on perennial streams throughout the state. But these pipelines are controlled or regulated by the federal government so the state does not have jurisdiction to say what type of monitoring needs to be put in place."
Rosendale said he has been in contact with Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines as well as Congressman Ryan Zinke over concerns about pipelines in Montana.
One of Rosendale's concerns is about the amount of monitoring done on the various pipelines throughout the state. Rosendale also says that has has heard that many pipeline companies have been held back in doing repairs because they are awaiting federal government approval to re-construct pipeline crossings. Rosendale hopes the reaction to this spill will help expedite the re-construction permit process.