Fossil fuels are spilling out all over. When we hear of an oil spill, we generally think that it will be sea birds who will be affected. We don’t imagine that cars in Montana will fall victim to a crude oil slick.
Yet, that’s just what’s happened on a highway south of Gillette, Montana. A truck carrying crude oil spilled its contents for 25 miles along that road before the driver realized what was happening this week. So, the highway had to be closed while a cleanup was attempted. Sand was dumped over the oil, but failed to absorb the oil because of the cold weather.
Sadly, a 25 mile-long oil spill will inflict a lot more damage than just delaying people who want to travel along a road. Much of the crude oil will run off into nearby streams, rivers and lakes.
Since the mid-1990s, the EPA has been hosting symposia on the effects of freshwater oil spills every two years. The seventh symposium in this series will be held in St. Louis this spring, from April 27 until April 30.