Official: ND pipeline that spilled 3M gallons of saltwater not state inspected



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BISMARCK, North Dakota — A North Dakota official says a pipeline that spilled nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater produced during oil drilling wasn't inspected by the state prior to being used.

North Dakota Industrial Commission spokeswoman Alison Ritter said Wednesday that the pipeline was installed in July, but a shortage of qualified inspectors means state oversight has been minimal of new small-gathering pipelines.

The commission oversees about 20,000 miles of pipeline.

Companies are required to file an affidavit stating they followed all state-mandated procedures in building a pipeline. Ritter says Summit Midstream Partners, which owns the pipeline that leaked, filed an affidavit.

Ritter says it's too early to tell whether the largest saltwater spill in recent state history could've been prevented with inspection because the cause remains unclear. The leak was detected Jan. 6.

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