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Saltwater spills reported in McKenzie County
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Saltwater spills reported in McKenzie County

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Two saltwater spills occurred in McKenzie County this week, according to the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality.

Tallgrass Energy reported a spill from one of its pipelines on Monday. The company estimated 850 barrels or 35,700 gallons spilled, affecting private property about 7 miles south of Watford City, according to a report it filed with the state.

Saltwater is known as produced water or brine in the oil fields, and it can render land infertile when it spills. It's a byproduct of oil production, typically transported by truck or pipeline from an oil well to a disposal site.

Tallgrass has not determined what caused its spill. A lightning strike is to blame for a separate incident that caused a fire and 820 barrels or 34,440 gallons of saltwater to spill at a disposal site about 5 miles south of Keene on Tuesday, according to a report the site operator, Bullrock, made with the state.

Both companies are working to clean up the spills. State investigators will continue to monitor those efforts.

Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or amy.sisk@bismarcktribune.com.

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