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Pipeline leak did not reach Little Missouri

MARMARTH – Last week’s pipeline leak that spilled 17,000 barrels of saltwater near the Montana-North Dakota state line has not affected the Little Missouri River, the North Dakota Department of Health said Monday.

Cleanup on the North Dakota area affected by the spill is complete but the department will continue to monitor the site, said Dennis Fewless, director of the health department’s Division of Water Quality.

The pipeline leak, reported Nov. 25, occurred in eastern Montana and the spill reached the Big Gumbo Creek, flowing down 1.4 miles of the creek into a rural area about 14 miles south of Marmarth.

The Big Gumbo Creek flows through the Badlands into the Little Missouri River. Fewless said water samples indicate the spill did not reach the river.

“We’re not seeing any impact on the Little Missouri,” Fewless said.

Cleanup on the Montana side, which also affected about 1.4 miles, was still ongoing Monday, Fewless said.

Amy Dalrymple

Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at or (701) 580-6890.