N.D. Officials Consider Easing Pipeline Spill Fine

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators are considering easing a $2.4 million fine levied against a Texas company for a pipeline spill that spewed saltwater and oil for three months before being discovered.

Regulators levied the record fine in June against pipeline owner Summit Midstream Partners. Department of Mineral Resources spokeswoman Alison Ritter says the state “is actively negotiating a settlement” with the company.

Regulators routinely settle on fines that are about 10 percent of the maximum penalty. They say it promotes cooperation.

Officials say the 3 million-gallon spill in western North Dakota was the largest in state history. The leak was detected in early January but regulators believe it had been leaking since early October.

Officials say it primarily contaminated Blacktail Creek but also flowed into the Little Muddy and Missouri rivers.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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