LAURAL, Mont. (AP) – As cleanup work continues along the Yellowstone River in Montana from a broken Exxon Mobil oil popeline, details are emerging about the company’s actions in advance of Friday night’s spill.
Federal Safety documents reveal that the company reassured regulators just a month ago that the pipeline beneath the river was buried deep enough and that it was not in danger.
There is still no firm word on just how far downriver the spill could spread.
The cause of the pipeline’s failure remains under investigation, but the prevailing theory is that the raging river eroded the riverbed and exposed the line to damaging debris.
The documents also show it took Exxon Mobil almost an hour to fully seal the pipeline after the accident – nearly twice as long as it publicly disclosed.