Oil Found on 60 Percent of Shoreline Areas Since Yellowstone Spill

"BILLINGS, Mont. — Teams tallying damage from an Exxon Mobil Corp. oil spill into the Yellowstone River have found contamination on roughly 60 percent of shoreline areas inspected downstream from the pipeline break, state and federal environmental regulators said Tuesday.

The tally offers one of the first glimpses into the scope of the spill after weeks of high water slowed access into many fouled areas. It was first released to The Associated Press by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and later confirmed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Just over 40 percent of shoreline areas inspected to date showed light to very light oil, DEQ director Richard Opper said. Seventeen percent had moderate oil. Just 1 percent of inspected areas were heavily contaminated.

Almost all those areas were within the first 30 miles downstream from the spill."

Matthew Brown reports for the Associated Press July 26, 2011.

Source: AP, 07/28/2011