Government Shutdown Leaves Public Lands Vulnerable


One of the biggest onshore spills in recent history went unreported to the public for more than a week because of the federal government shutdown. 865,200 gallons (20,000 barrels) of fracked oil gushed out of a Tesoro Logistics LP pipeline in North Dakota. The spill was discovered on September 29th, but the U.S. National Response Center wasn't able to report the spill until October 8th.

"The center generally makes such reports available on its website within 24 hours of their filing, but services were interrupted last week because of the U.S. government shutdown" reports Reuters.

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"Protection and care of the environment are fundamental to our core values, and we deeply regret any impact to the landowner," Tesoro CEO Greg Goff said in a statement. "We will continue to work tirelessly to fully remediate the release area."
Wayde Schafer, a North Dakota spokesman for the Sierra Club, said the spill is an example of the lack of oversight in a state that has exploded with oil development in recent years.
"We need more inspectors and more transparency," Schafer said. "Not only is the public not informed, but agencies don't appear to be aware of what's going on and that's not good."