By STU MERRY
It happened. Oil activity has impacted Lake Sakakawea. Oil has leaked into the lake.
The cause for the leak was a pipeline break near Charlson. North Dakota Department of Health officials learned about the break Monday and dispatched two individuals to the Charlson area Tuesday to investigate the site where the oil spill occurred. The pipeline is owned by Petro Hunt of Dallas, Texas. The company also has offices in Killdeer, New Town and Watford City.
Charlson is about 15 miles northwest of New Town and is located on the south side of Lake Sakakawea.
Mike Sauer, senior scientist with the Division of Water Quality for the North Dakota Department of Health, said Wednesday morning that about 100 barrels of produced water (salt water) went into the lake via runoff. Approximately five barrels of oil also spilled, and some did get into the lake.
Sauer said the oil is being dealt with. He said there is nothing that can be done about the salt water that flowed into the lake.
“Oil cleanup is ongoing, using absorbent booms and pads,” Sauer said. “Crews are on-site, mopping up the oil. Other remediation activities are also ongoing.”