Crews Shut Down Keystone Pipeline After Major 210,000 Gallon Oil Spill

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November 16, 2017Nov 16, 2017

It has been reported by CNN that a total of 210,000 gallons of oil have leaked into South Dakota from the Keystone Pipeline. Crews are quickly shutting down the pipeline in order to prevent further spills. Reports of the spill came Thursday morning and officials are currently trying to figure out the cause of this major leak. 

 

CNN points out that this is the largest Keystone oil spill to ever occur in South Dakota. In the past, there have been other minor spills. In April of 2016, for instance, there was a spill of 16,800 gallons, which was cleaned up over the course of about two months. Today's spill, however, was much larger, and will likely take a larger amount of time to clean. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, "Officials don't believe the leak affected any surface water bodies or threatened any drinking water systems, 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."

The spill totals about 5,000 barrels of oil spilling into rural South Dakota. According to The Hill, a TransCanada crew shut down the pipeline at about 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, quickly after first detecting the major leak. The leak was apparently found about 35 miles south of a pumping station in Marshall County. 

The Hill writes that the company is currently working with state officials with the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safty Administration to determine how they can best deal with the situation. 

Currently, TransCanada is trying to expand the Keystone pipeline network. Earlier this year, President Trump signed a permit that allows the company to build the Keystone XL pipeline, thereby transporting over 830,000 barrels of crude oil every day from Canada to Nebraska, where it would there join with an existing pipeline. 

The Chicago Tribune points out that the pipeline transports crude from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, passing through the eastern Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. It can hold nearly 600,000 barrels, or 23 million gallons, daily. TransCanada remarked on their website that the company, for the most part, transports the oil in a safe manner. Since 2010, it has transported more than 63 billion gallons of oil in a safe manner.

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