BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota officials say an oil company failed to report a nearly 20,000-gallon brine spill last month until a landowner alerted health officials.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Great American Royalties Inc. filed a report Monday about a tank that overflowed on Sept. 24 about 12 miles northwest of Maxbass. It spilled 470 barrels of brine or saltwater, a waste byproduct of oil development.

Companies are required to provide a verbal notification to state regulators immediately after a spill is discovered and follow up with a written report within 24 hours

Todd Ballantyne, president of Great American Royalties, says the spill wasn’t reported because it was small and totally contained.

Officials say the failure to report the spill could result in fines of up to $12,500 a day.

Information from: Bismarck Tribune,

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