- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The state Department of Health says more than 33,000 gallons of saltwater has spilled in western North Dakota.

The department says the spill is at a site operated by Hillstone Environmental Partners LLC in McKenzie County.

The department says it doesn’t appear surface waters have been impacted. The site of the spill, reported Wednesday, is still being investigated to see if groundwater is affected.

Brine is an unwanted byproduct of oil production and is considered an environmental hazard by the state. It is many times saltier than sea water and can easily kill vegetation exposed to it.

Department of Health and North Dakota Oil and Gas Division officials are at the site. The Health Department is monitoring the investigation.

The firm didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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