Settlement reached in damages from Exxon Mobil’s oil spill beneath Montana’s Yellowstone River

FILE - In this July 11,2011 file photo oil swirls in a small eddy in a back channel of the Yellowstone River near Laurel, Mont.  Federal safety regulators are due to disclose to a state panel whether any more oil or gas pipelines crossing beneath streams and rivers in the state are at risk of failure. Representatives of the US Dept. of Transportation will appear Tuesday Nov. 15,2011 before a governor-appointed commission set up after an Exxon Mobil pipeline break spilled 1,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
FILE - In this July 11,2011 file photo oil swirls in a small eddy in a back channel of the Yellowstone River near Laurel, Mont. Federal safety regulators are due to disclose to a state panel whether any more oil or gas pipelines crossing beneath streams and rivers in the state are at risk of failure. Representatives of the US Dept. of Transportation will appear Tuesday Nov. 15,2011 before a governor-appointed commission set up after an Exxon Mobil pipeline break spilled 1,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – State and federal officials say they have a settlement with Exxon Mobil over environmental damage caused by an oil spill beneath Montana’s Yellowstone River.

Gov. Steve Bullock and Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Cruden plan to announce terms of the settlement Wednesday.

The 2011 pipeline break upstream of Billings left oil along an 85-mile stretch of the Yellowstone, killing fish and wildlife and prompting a months-long cleanup.

The accident prompted a national debate over the adequacy of safety rules for thousands of pipelines crossing beneath rivers, lakes and other waterways.

An investigation found Exxon workers failed to heed warnings that the 20-year-old pipeline was at risk from flooding.

The company spent $135 million on cleanup and repair work.

It previously paid $2.6 million for safety violations and state pollution violations.

 

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