Keystone pipeline shut down after oil spill in Marshall County
TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported Thursday.
TransCanada said in a statement crews shut down the Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. Thursday and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from a leak south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County.
According to TransCanada, the spill was completely isolated within 15 minutes. The cause is being investigated.
Brian Walsh with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said he anticipates the clean up will take some time.
Walsh said the leak happened in a rural area about three miles from the town of Amherst.
This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota.
Back in April 2016, crews responded to a 16,800 gallons spill from the Keystone pipeline in Freeman, South Dakota.
David Flute, chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe, told BuzzFeed News Thursday’s leak was on a section of pipeline adjacent to his reservation. He said the area has “the cleanest lakes in South Dakota,” as well as a large subterranean aquifer, and that he was “concerned” about the possibility of contamination.
“I’m thinking there is going to be an impact, some type of environmental impact,” Flute said. “As the oil seeps, if they can’t contain the spill, which I’m hoping they do, if they’re unable to contain it from seeping into the water systems, it can be hurtful and harmful to everybody.”
In response to the spill, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Kelly Martin released the following statement:
“We’ve always said it’s not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and today TransCanada is making our case for us. This is not the first time TransCanada’s pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won’t be the last. The PSC must take note: there is no such thing as a safe tar sands pipeline, and the only way to protect Nebraska communities from more tar sands spills is to say no to Keystone XL.”
There have been no reports of the oil entering any waterways or water systems at this time.