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Saltwater leaks into this stream after running downhill, Thursday, July 10, 2014, near Mandaree, N. A pipeline leak on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation spilled 1 million gallons of saltwater, a byproduct of oil and gas production. (AP) — The snaking, nearly 2-mile trail of saltwater that an underground pipeline spewed in the rugged hills of western North Dakota’s badlands left a 200-yard-long stretch of dead vegetation, a company official said, though she added there is no evidence yet that the spill has contaminated a nearby bay.Company officials say the leak likely started over the Fourth of July weekend. On Friday, officials were expected to continue investigating the extent of the damage and cause of the pipeline leak that spilled nearly 1 million gallons of saltwater, an unwanted byproduct of oil and gas production.Also called brine, saltwater is considered an environmental hazard by the state.
The pipeline belonged to Crestwood subsidiary Arrow Pipeline LLC.
That ravine flows into Bear Den Bay, a tributary of Lake Sakakawea.
Sakakawea, one of the nation’s largest man-made lakes, is a drinking water source for the Fort Berthold Indian reservation.
On a boat trip to the bay Thursday, The Associated Press saw no visible signs of contamination.
Waterfowl were present in the area — some sitting close to the bright yellow booms placed at the point where the ravine meets the bay.
Booms had also been placed around a nearby water-intake system used by the reservation.The company believes the spill began over the Fourth of July weekend.In the first public statement in the two days since the spill was detected, the Environmental Protection Agency said it had no confirmed reports that the saltwater had reached Bear Den Bay.The agency said most of the spill was pooled on the ground, soaked into the soil or held behind beaver dams.Jones also said Thursday that there is no evidence the bay had been contaminated.On Wednesday, Jones spoke to The Associated Press with Three Affiliated Tribes chairman Tex Hall, who said then that the spill had leaked into the bay.