TransCanada pipeline leaks 210000 gallons of oil near SD, ND border

Nov 18, 2017, 00:50
TransCanada pipeline leaks 210000 gallons of oil near SD, ND border

"The section of pipe along a right-of-way approximately 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota was completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response procedures were activated".

Brian Walsh with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources tells KSFY News they were alerted to the leak at 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning by TransCanada.

TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone pipeline leaked oil onto agricultural land in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators said Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, but state officials don't believe the leak polluted any surface water bodies or drinking water systems.

The spill near the border of Minnesota and the source of the Minnesota River has certainly raised concerns about Enbridge's (TSX:ENB) Line 3 pipeline replacement project in the state, said Coleman. Since 2010, companies have reported 17 spills bigger than the leak announced Thursday, topping 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude oil or refined petroleum products, according to U.S. Department of Transportation records.

The existing Keystone pipeline transports crude oil from Canada to refineries in Oklahoma and IL, and passes through North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. 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.

"Crews, including TransCanada specialists, as well as nationally recognized experts, are assessing the situation", a TransCanada spokesperson said.

"We want to know how long is it going to take to dig this plume of contaminated soil and how can we be reassured, without a doubt, that it has not and will not seep into the aquifer", he said.

Beginning Friday, response crews were expected to determine how large an area has been impacted.

The Keystone Pipeline system stretches more than 2,600 miles, from Hardisty, Alberta, east into Manitoba and then south to Texas, according to TransCanada. The proposed fourth phase, Keystone XL, initially rejected by the Obama administration, was approved by the Trump administration earlier this year. The decision of the state regulators is the last obstacle for the Keystone XL project, and the Keystone leak could become a blessing in disguise for opponents.

Greenpeace and the Sierra Club led the attack by urging Nebraska regulators to reject the expansion project.

"Even if Nebraska's PSC approves the permit, the fight's not over yet", said Rainforest Action Network's Jason Disterhoft, senior climate and energy campaigner. "A permit approval allowing Canadian oil company TransCanada to build Keystone XL is a thumbs-up to likely spills in the future". "Banks should drop TransCanada unless they want to get caught up in the controversy around the pipeline". A decision is supposed to be made on the pipeline November 20. "The company's $1.5 billion credit facility with 19 banks expires on December 15". It did not offer a time estimate, and a spokesman didn't immediately return a telephone message from The Associated Press.