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Campers shovel out an exit ramp at the Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Many Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents who've gathered for months in the camp are committed to staying despite wintry weather and demands that they leave. An overnight storm brought several inches of snow, winds gusting to 50 mph and temperatures that felt as cold as 10 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

An oil pipeline just 200 miles from Standing Rock was shut down after a 'significant' leak


A crude oil pipeline was shut down after a spill on Monday leaked oil into a North Dakota creek, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The leak from the pipeline, operated by Belle Fourche Pipeline Co., was found about 16 miles northwest of Belfield, 200 miles away from the Standing Rock protest site. 

The state's health department said it was not known how much oil had been spilled. 

It is a significant spill.
Bill Suess, ND Department of Health

A nearby landowner reportedly saw oil leaking from the six-inch pipeline. The oil is not believed to have made it to a major river. 

Belle Fourche has 10 reported spills since 2011, adding up to 4,848 barrels and $2.26 million in property damage, according the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration.

The ties to Standing Rock

Belle Fourche is part of True Companies of Wyoming. That company also owns Briger Pipeline, which had a major 2015 spill that contaminated the Yellowstone river, according to North Dakota newspaper Inforum

That spill was part of the reason the Standing Rock Sioux opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline so strongly. 

Hey, that reminds me. What's happening at Standing Rock?

The protesters' official deadline to vacate the camp has passed, and a blizzard over the Oceti Sakowin camp forced thousands of protesters to find shelter. 

Many took an offer to find shelter at The Prairie Knights Casino and Resort, The Washington Post reports. 

By Tuesday morning, some still at the Oceti Sakowin camp were being treated for hypothermia. The only nearby gas stations had run out of fuel. 

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