BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — When a pipeline rupture sent more than 20,000 barrels of crude spewing across a North Dakota wheat field, it took nearly two weeks for officials to tell the public about it.
The break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline happened in a remote area near Tioga, and officials say no water was contaminated or wildlife hurt. But environmentalists are skeptical and say it's an example of a boom industry operating too cozily with state regulators.
The North Dakota Health Department says that while companies must notify the state of any spills, the state doesn't have to release that information to the public. That's not unusual in major oil-producing states.
But the public is often told about spills, particularly if oil gets into a waterway or otherwise threatens the environment.
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