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Oil Spill Drill Held Last Week

Tracie Perkins, Townsquare Media

People, fish and other critters don’t want an oil spill to happen on the North Platte River, and energy companies, environmental agencies and first responders don’t want to see one, either.

So last Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency, Spectra Energy and more than 20 different crews from fire police and other departments participated in a drill to test their responses, EPA spokesman John Dalton said.

The EPA is required to conduct one of these drills every three years to be in compliance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, he said.

The first responders and the agency set up three containment sites along the river as if the real thing had happened, Dalton said.

Spectra company spokesman Phil West said pipelines are the safest way to transport liquid and gas fuels, but they still need to be ready.

“We actually have two pipelines that run through the area, and we have storage facilities here in Casper as well,” West said. “So we want to make sure that line operates safely, and in the event unlikely as it is of an issue that we’re prepared for that and we can respond to that quickly.”

The drill took about six hours, and Dalton says the participants will evaluate their performances and ways to improve their responses.

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