A pipeline break beneath the Yellowstone River is costing an oil giant $12 million.  Exxon Mobil Corporation reached a settlement to cover natural resource damages from the 2011 Yellowstone River oil spill near Laurel.  Government officials gathered Wednesday morning near the site of Exxon’s Silvertip Pipeline break to announce not only the settlement, but also a draft restoration plan.
The July 2011 toxic spill dumped 63,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone, killing wildlife, fouling river banks and causing untold ecological damage for at least 80 miles.  Assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division John Cruden said animals died, thousands of acres of land were impacted.  The entire river system was endangered by what happened.  The disaster sparked changes to federal pipeline law and prompted Montana to reassess all pipelines beneath state waterways.  A U.S. District Court must approve the settlement terms.