210,000 Gallons of Oil Burst From Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota

210,000 gallons of oil burst out of the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota sometime around Thursday morning, making instant-irony out of President Trump’s past tweets on the matter:

Brian Walsh of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources stated that TransCanada—the energy company operating the pipeline—notified them of the leak yesterday around 10:30 a.m.

The leak was eventually patched up and the pipeline turned off.

As of now, there are no reports or indications that the oil has seeped into waterways or contaminated any systems that could directly endanger public health, though initial images of the spill look quite severe:

TransCanada dispatched large numbers of contractors and workers to the site for what Walsh said would likely be an extensive and timely cleanup process.

The oil spill has come at a crucial time when Nebraska officials were expected to make a critical decision to allow or bar a route for the Keystone XL.

However, according to a statement released on Friday from the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the recent spill will not be taken into consideration during their deliberations.

As reported by ABC News:

“…commissioners will base their decision solely on evidence presented during public hearings and from official public comments.

“Supporters and opponents of the project argued their cases to the commission at a four-day hearing in August.”

TransCanada released a statement on the matter:

“TransCanada (TSX, NYSE: TRP) crews safely shut down its Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. CST (5 a.m. MST) after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system resulting from an oil leak that is under investigation.

“The estimated volume of the leak is approximately 5,000 barrels. The section of pipe along a right-of-way approximately 35 miles (56 kilometres) south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota was completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response procedures were activated.

“Crews, including TransCanada specialists from emergency management, engineering, environmental management and safety as well as contracted, nationally recognized experts are assessing the situation.

“TransCanada is providing State and Federal regulators, including the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the National Response Center (NRC), with accurate and confirmed information on an ongoing basis.

TransCanada appreciates the collaborative support of local officials, emergency response personnel and commissioners in Marshall County, as well as the landowner who has given permission to access land for assessment, identification and clean-up activities.

“We have been keeping our shippers and customers up to date and have communicated that the pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois is expected to remain shut down as we respond to this incident.

“This does not affect the Marketlink pipeline system, which uses the facilities of the southern leg of the Keystone system from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.

The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.”

The oil spill in South Dakota will likely add fuel to the fire in the ongoing debate over the Keystone XL pipeline.

Whether or not it will have any impact legislative action remains to be seen.

via davidwolfe

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