Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota

This is the largest spill in South Dakota, but not the first.

TransCanada Corporation announced its original Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in Marshall County, South Dakota. The news comes just days before Nebraska decides the fate of plans to expand the pipeline network.

The company said crews shut down the Keystone pipeline system Thursday morning between Hardisty, Alberta, Canada and Cushing, Oklahoma, and a line to Patoka, Illinois. They expect the line to remain shut down while they respond to the spill.

Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the state sent a staff member to the site of the leak. The oil spilled onto agricultural land in a rural area near the border with North Dakota about 250 miles west of Minneapolis.

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

The oil leaked from an underground section of the Keystone pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota, about 15 miles west of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation.

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribal chairman David Flute said his community fears the leak, the largest but not the first by the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota to date, could pollute the area’s aquifer and waterways.

We are keeping a watchful eye and an open ear. The concern is at a high level, but there is really nothing we can do.”

TransCanada officials claim the pipeline leak did not contaminate any drinking water systems or surface bodies of water.

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