Nearly 19,000 gallons of saltwater spills north of Tioga

BISMARCK, N.D. — The state Department of Health says a pipeline has leaked nearly 19,000 gallons of saltwater in northwest North Dakota.

The pipeline owned by Continental Resources ruptured after it was struck by equipment excavating at the site about 16 miles north of Tioga.

The 450-gallon saltwater, or brine, spill was contained to the excavated area near the pipeline. The department says it has not impacted any waterways and is not a threat to public health at this time.

Brine is an unwanted byproduct of oil production and is considered an environmental hazard by the state. It is many times saltier than sea water and can easily kill vegetation exposed to it.

The Department of Health and the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division have responded and say cleanup is underway.