Sampling a hydraulic fracturing brine waste spill
On January 6, 2015, three million gallons of saltwater drilling waste spilled from a western North Dakota pipeline. USGS scientists sampled the site in February following the spill.
The saltwater brine is a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing and contains salt as well as other fracking fluids and petroleum products. This is the state’s largest brine spill since the North Dakota oil boom began. The spill impacted two creeks: Blacktail Creek and Little Muddy Creek, which feeds the Missouri River, a source of drinking water in the area.