Oil spill questions remain

There are many questions surrounding the oil spill near Tioga, that dumped approximately 20,600 barrels of oil onto Steve Jensen’s land.

Why did it take so long for news of the spill to become public?

Why did it take from Sept. 29, when Jensen discovered and reported the spill, to Oct. 9 for Gov.?Jack Dalrymple to be informed?

When the equivalent of roughly 29 railcar tankers of oil has been spilled, why didn’t pipeline monitoring systems detect the spill? If the spill was detected, why wasn’t anything being done about cleaning it up before Jensen reported it?

Tesoro Logistics said in a prepared statement that no one was injured and that there were no known impacts to wildlife or the surrounding environment. We’re glad no one was injured, but does anyone believe the rest of that statement? Of course there will be environmental impacts and wildlife in that area will most certainly be affected. To state otherwise is simply ignoring the obvious.

Officials have said the spill could take four years to clean up, and could cost $4 million. We wonder if that monetary figure includes the damage to Jensen’s property, which will no doubt last for years after cleanup is complete. Will that land ever be usable again for agriculture?

We know there is an ongoing investigation. These questions, and others, must be answered soon.