DALLAS — Crews are working to repair a pipeline leak that damaged the North Dakota State Capitol on Tuesday, just hours after the Senate approved legislation to address the crisis.
The House passed a bill Wednesday to extend the temporary temporary freeze on oil and gas development until December to help fix the leaking section of the pipeline.
The leak occurred about 11 p.m.
Tuesday in the area of the Capitol, which had been blocked off for the past few weeks as crews worked to repair the spillway.
A video posted by The Associated Press on Twitter showed a worker standing atop the damaged section of pipeline and said, “The repair is complete.
We are doing everything we can.”
State Rep. Tim Dreyer, who was in the Capitol with the other House members who voted in favor of the legislation, said he was glad the pipeline repairs are underway.
He said he’s glad they are getting underway and that the Senate has the bill to deal with the pipeline.
“It’s been very frustrating.
The people of North Dakota have had to endure a very difficult time,” Dreyers said.
“The people have had their hopes up for years, they have their hopes for the future.
The pipeline has gone off the rails.
They’re now going to have to deal, in the end, with the costs of the damage and the damage to our economy and our environment.”
The pipeline is being repaired by a local company.
The Department of Transportation said it would not disclose the extent of the spill or the size of the repairs needed.
The department said it was working with the North Dakotas Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The state has been negotiating with the company.
North Dakota Gov.
Jack Dalrymple, who has called the incident “unacceptable” and a “significant failure,” said the legislature has been working on legislation to ensure a smooth pipeline repair.
“The safety and well-being of our citizens and our employees is the highest priority for the Governor and the legislature and we have been working with them in the past 24 hours to try to find a solution,” Dalryms said.
Dreyers, a Democrat, said the incident shows how much of a mess the pipeline has become.
He criticized the state and federal government for not putting in place the proper response and he said the state should have done more to protect the environment.
“This is a problem that can’t be solved with a few more words,” he said.