After five years of negotiations, the State of Montana has finally reached a settlement with ExxonMobile over a busted pipeline that gushed oil into the Yellowstone River back in 2011. Montana Attorney general Tim Fox explains.

"In this case, we settled with ExxonMobile for $12 millon," Fox said. "There is a consent decree that was filed in court, signed by all of the parties including the federal government. There will be a public comment period for thirty days not only on the consent decree but there's also restoration plans that has been made public and there is a thirty day comment period made for that."

The negotiations took five years because a lot of work needed to be done to discern the cleanup costs and the effects of the oil spill. The money will go towards restoring fish and animal habitat as well as ensuring recreational use of the river.

"We may need to acquire some terrestrial or riparian bottom land along the Yellowstone river," said Fox. "There's approximately 85 miles of river that that was effected. We'll have to control invasive wooded species that can now crop up and other vegetation that may have been damaged. For example, down trees that had to be removed because they were oil soaked."

The Proposed Settlement and Draft Resolution Plan can be viewed online on the Montana Attorney General’s website.

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