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Brine spill in western North Dakota impacts creek

FAIRFIELD, N.D. - A tanker truck rollover in Billings County on Saturday caused about 185 barrels, or 7,770 gallons, of produced water to spill, impacting rangeland and Ash Coulee Creek, the North Dakota Department of Health reported Tuesday, Nov. 27.

The incident occurred about 4 miles west of Fairfield involving a tanker truck owned by Liquid Connections Inc. Fairfield is about 40 miles northwest of Dickinson.

It’s unknown how much produced water, a waste byproduct of oil and gas development, got into Ash Coulee Creek, which flows into the Little Missouri River. Bill Suess, the health department’s spill investigation program manager, said most of the brine soaked into the ground in a drainage area that runs along the roadway.

Health department staff collected samples at Ash Coulee Creek on Sunday and found no signs of contamination, according to Suess. Cleanup crews have installed a sump system to capture runoff and prevent further contamination of the creek.

Health department staff will continue to monitor the investigation and cleanup.