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South Dakota Face Loss Of 210,000 Gallons Of Oil Due To Keystone Pipeline Leak

TransCanada Corp’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in north-eastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported on Thursday.

Crews shut down the pipeline on Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. The cause was being investigated.

Officials do not believe the leak affected any surface water bodies or threatened any drinking water systems from the spill on to agricultural land, said Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota department of environment and natural resources, which has dispatched a staff member to the site.

(CNN)A total of 210,000 gallons of oil leaked Thursday from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota, the pipeline’s operator, TransCanada, said.

Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning, and officials are investigating the cause of the leak, which occurred about three miles southeast of the town of Amherst, said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota, Walsh said. The leak comes just days before Nebraska officials announce a decision on whether the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, a sister project, can move forward.

AMHERST, S.D. — TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline has been shut down after it leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported Thursday.

Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. The cause was being investigated.

“It is a below-ground pipeline, but some oil has surfaced above ground to the grass,” Walsh said. “It will be a few days until they can excavate and get in borings to see if there is groundwater contamination.”
There were no initial reports of the oil spill affecting waterways, water systems or wildlife, he said.
The pipeline was shut down “within minutes” of the company discovering an irregularity, TransCanada said Friday. The spill has been controlled, the company said, with no further environmental impacts observed and no threat to public safety.
TransCanada said it was working with state and federal agencies.
“The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available,” the company said.
The Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring the situation and will provide resources and assistance if needed, a spokesman said.
“EPA is aware of the spill and is receiving periodic updates from the state of South Dakota, which is overseeing response activity at the spill site,” he said.

“Ultimately, the cleanup responsibility lies with TransCanada, and they’ll have to clean it up in compliance with our state regulations,” Walsh said.

The pipeline transports crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, passing through the eastern Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. It can handle nearly 600,000 barrels, or about 23 million gallons, daily.

TransCanada says on its website that the company has safely transported more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil, or about 63 billion gallons, through the system since operations began in 2010.

“We told you so,” Daniel Sheehan, chief counsel of the Lakota People’s Law Project, said in a statement. “It was just a matter of time. There have been over 200 significant leaks in these pipelines since the year 2000. This is the exact threat that the Lakota people were trying to protect their sole source of water from at Standing Rock.”

“Ultimately, the cleanup responsibility lies with TransCanada, and they’ll have to clean it up in compliance with our state regulations,” Walsh said.

The pipeline transports crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, passing through the eastern Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. It can handle nearly 600,000 barrels, or about 23m gallons, daily. TransCanada says on its website that the company has safely transported more than 1.5bn barrels of oil, or about 63bn gallons, through the system since operations began in 2010.

TransCanada said in its statement that it expected the pipeline to remain shut down as the company responds to the leak. It did not offer a time estimate.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration did not immediately return an email requesting additional information from the Associated Press.

Updated: November 18, 2017 — 2:06 am

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