Waiting for justice in pipeline break

It’s been more than a month since damage to a pipeline caused 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into Yellow Medicine/Lyon Judicial Ditch 24 which flows into the Yellow Medicine River. Fortunately, first responders reacted quickly and contained the spill before it caused major environmental damage.

Shortly after the spill, Lyon County Attorney Rick Maes announced that the break was caused by a man shooting at the pipeline and a suspect had been identified. Maes also said the identity of the suspect has not been made public, but expected to receive reports on the incident from investigators.

At this time charges have not been filed. Meanwhile, the Independent has received messages from concerned readers suspecting an attempt of sweeping the incident under the rug. We hope that’s not the case.

Maes told the Independent he was waiting to learn what level of federal involvement there might be in pursuing charges. He also said there was also additional information being checked on, like the extent of the damages to the pipeline.

This case shouldn’t be rushed to just satisfy public pressures. But at the same time, the suspect must eventually be held accountable if it’s proven he caused the pipeline break. Besides monetary punishment, the suspect should be mandated to take a gun safety course.

Irresponsible firearm use should not go unpunished.


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