Despite the massive Yellowstone River oil spill in Montana, the EPA has deemed the air and drinking water in the nearby area safe. Just ten days after 1,000 barrels of oil leaked from Exxon’s Silvertip pipeline, the EPA has started using boats to conduct water testing, and began sampling drinking wells in the area. But evaporating oil is causing some nearby residents to become sick, and many are questioning Exxon’s clean-up methods.
“We want to screen every drinking water well within the heaviest affected area between Laurel and Billings as quickly as possible and move downriver from there,” said Steve Merritt, the EPA’s site coordinator, in a New York Times report.
Not everyone is convinced. Evaporating oil is causing some locals to become nauseous. Others are disgusted by a cleaning effort, that many consider a joke. The shocker comes from the fact that Exxon is using what looks to be oversized paper towels duct tapped together to mop off the oil – primitive technologies considering Exxon earns $5,000,000 every hour.
Things seem to be getting worse for Exxon. Governor Schweitzer of Minnesota has began to openly criticize the oil company, according to Treehugger, even going as far as to setting up his own clean up center, and calling for all Minnesotans to conduct their own soil analysis.
With more public scrutiny on oil companies in light of environmental damage and economic controversy, Exxon will no doubt continue to face more backlash, but hopefully, the company will devise a more effective clean up policy.