The National Wildlife Foundation's Alexis Bonogofsky lives on the Yellowstone River and has a farm there. When the ExxonMobil oil pipeline below the Yellowstone River burst late Friday night leaking oil into the river and contaminating the local waterway, her farmland was contaminated with oil from the spill. Exxon officials told Alexis that she should not document the effects the spill has on her property and that she should stay from the oil "just to be safe." They told her "off the record" that she should move her livestock away from the parts of the farm affected by the spill.
She wrote about her experience on Sunday morning:
I walked down to our bottom pasture because the River was supposed to flood and I wanted to see if it had come over its banks. Sure enough, there was about 2 feet of water in the pasture. I got this overwhelming smell of hydrocarbons (very distinct smell especially around here because there are 3 refineries). I checked our local paper and saw that a pipeline had ruptured. Even though this had been going on for over 7 hours, and we are right on the River, we received no call, no warning...nothing. I had to find out about it by seeing it in our pastures. Apparently they evacuated people further up stream that were closer to the pipeline.
The plume of oil is about 25 miles (40 kilometres) long. 140 people were evacuated from their homes because of the spill. The oil was discovered around 11:30 pm Friday and the pipe was shut off by midnight.