Billings Public Works and CHS Refinery address ditch and storm drain contamination

On Monday, September 16, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management made reports to Billings Public Works of a strong petroleum smell nearby.  After some investigating, the environmental group from Billings Public Works discovered a sheen on top of the water in a ditch near Amend Park.

BILLINGS, Mont. -- On Monday, September 16, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management made reports to Billings Public Works of a strong petroleum smell nearby.

After some investigating, the environmental group from Billings Public Works discovered a sheen on top of the water in a ditch near Amend Park.  Dave Mumford, Director of Billings Public Works, says CHS Refinery has a petroleum line that runs along the ditch, and CHS immediately sent people out to monitor the situation.

"They shut it down and are pressure testing the line," says Mumford, "They're being overly cautious and really making sure that we know what it is.  We did find -- at Juno and Plainview in the alley -- where somebody had spilled diesel fuel and it was near an inlet to the storm drain system, so that bad rain we had probably last Thursday... it washed into our storm drain system which runs into the city county drain."

Mumford says they have isolated the area near the inlets of the storm drains so nothing more can get in.  He also says the soil is being tested to find out the level of contamination.  On Thursday, September 18, 2019, Mumford says Billings Public Works will excavate about five to six cubic yards of contaminated material which will be disposed of at the landfill.

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