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Saltwater pipeline leaks on ND Indian reservation; unclear whether drinking water affected

Officials are trying to contain what they're calling a substantial leak from a saltwater pipeline on an Indian reservation in North Dakota.

Kris Roberts, an environmental geologist, says the state health department doesn't yet have any information on volumes or if the brine has reached Bear Den Bay, a tributary to Lake Sakakawea. The lake provides drinking water to several communities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Roberts says there are dead trees, grasses and bushes near the leak area. Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production and considered an environmental hazard because it can be many times saltier than sea water.

Roberts says Crestwood Midstream Services owns the pipeline but has not completely contained the brine.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to arrive Wednesday afternoon.

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